“For every thing that lives is Holy.” William Blake, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell
As we turned from September to October, and the days begin to feel a little more autumnal our newsfeed is full of the felling of the Sycamore Gap tree. The sadness and bewilderment caused by this apparently random act of vandalism seems to touch a chord with us all.
Trees matter to us, and when we lose them our landscape both internal and external is changed and often we feel their loss as a personal grief.
The felling of one iconic tree on the night of Thursday September 28th coincided with the publication of the ‘State of Nature’ report which brought the news that in the UK, nearly one in six of the more than ten thousand species assessed are at risk of being lost.
When I was in Sweden this summer, I was struck by how many apple trees there were, both in the wild and in the gardens. It reminded me of walking to Canterbury on our 2019 Pilgrimage when we passed through the orchards of the weald stepping over apparently abandoned fallen apples.
In Scandinavian mythology, apples were the food of the gods, maybe that is why the apple trees remain whereas so many have been uprooted in the UK.