9th July 2010
Blythe Hill, SE London, UK
What if I ended up hating trees? Like people who have to eat brussel sprouts, or go to school against their will. Or like someone might hate rocks if they had to break them for 20 years in a cartoon prison. It’s pretty unlikely since I enjoy this most of the time and I’m getting a lot out of it. The thought leads me to wonder – are there – there must be people who hate or fear trees(?) I must meet one of these people.
Suppose you might fear a branch falling down on you. Or what might be in the trees. Or have fallen out of a tree, or abused under a tree as a child or see them as the aliens might as a kind of infectious fungus. Or hate the texture. I saw a program where people were ‘cured’ from a fear of wood. Anything made of wood. Weird. The alien thing made me think of planting one of our trees on another planet. Then I wonder if there is a zoo for our plants and animals thousands of light years away. Collected by aliens. An oak tree circling Alpha Centauri on a planet with 7 moons and because of the conditions it’s grown to 400 metres tall. It was collected and planted there 5000 years ago. It’s a national treasure for the aborigines. Their own trees are so big that zebras graze on the planes/plains of moss growing on the branches. Trees 5 miles high like that one in Avatar is like a bonsai in comparison. I’d be scared to walk under that tree. Imagine a branch snapping off. It would cause a natural disaster. How did the zebra get up there?
So. That was what my hating trees got me to. I doubt I will. I wait. Hopefully it will go the other way. I’d imagine it’s called Arbophobia. A fear of trees dying. That’s more me. I’ve just seen 50,000 trees on this bus journey to London and maybe 3 of the ones I saw were dead but the one I saw by the roadside as we entered London made me worry. Ridiculous. I think I need an expert to reassure me over the cycle of life. That it’s not a toxic overload. Or smothered with cars(?). Ha!
Arbomortisphobia! So. The sun set was bright gold – just missed it but I was with my brother and niece, and it was poetic as he had to push me up to get into this tree. It was history repeating – 3 years on, and my niece was about the age I had been. Only this time he didn’t have to tell me that tall people were coming to get me up there – I knew they were. This is the London skyline from Blythe Park. It’s hard to believe London has more parks and trees than any other city of similar scale. Well standing here it isn’t that hard to believe but when you’re in the jungle – the concrete one – it seems to go on forever. Just buildings and tarmac and cars and bill boards advertising cars, buildings and the place is grey and dirty and depressing, especially when it’s overcast. I prefer to call it a concrete desert. At least a real desert is picturesque. No trees but … the car infested gas maze that we walk and breath in is what it says it is. Up here on the hill – it looks futuristic and well balanced with nature. It brings me back to the giant sequoias lining Oxford Street. Wouldn’t that be nice. What if every car was a tree(?) If the fumes and noise pollution replaced by birds(?) Here’s the potential tragedy for us: That one day they will – but we won’t be here to see it. Weeping Willows will grow through rusty double decker buses beside rivers where shops dispensed dreams and wonders. Truly phones and computers are miraculous. Clothes made 10,000 miles away last week is incredible. But … There’s just one thing missing from this tree picture. You’ll just have to imagine a two year old holding my brother’s hand in silhouette. He didn’t want to be in it. – Not into being staged.