Pictured: Grandma Oak – a significant tree to Elaine and Ched. One of the oldest where they live in Oak View,
this grand dame has been split by lightening
and overgrown the “limiting” babrbed wire that got in her way
– a strong, beautiful triumph of nature
!

While doing the internship in Oak View there were two other interns based offsite who travelled in for Tuesday/Wednesday and it was great to get to spend time coming to know Julia and Jeremy… I am an introvert and generally try to avoid meeting new people because it feels so awkward and uncomfortable and I’d rather skip that stage!  Early in the piece we were doing the dishes after lunch together and Jeremy begins “So…” and my inner introvert braced anticipating the question “What do you do?”, or similar, but no, instead he said “…tell me about a significant tree in your life”.  In the interests of full disclosure Jeremy is into anarchal primitivism and the interconnectedness of creation so that’s how he rolls but I felt dumbfounded but what a great question I conceived that to be.

So many of those preliminary introduction questions seem to be about establishing status/knowledge and we skipped it!

My mind went to the low-sweeping willow tree in Wellington Zoo whose branches touch the ground and an afternoon I spent having a picnic under there watching the world go by, or the wild gardens of Erskine College in Island Bay where my friend Jack and I rambled playing everything make-believe amongst the twisted roots and then my mind went to Footscray.  Footscray is where I live now, an inner-city suburb of Melbourne quite industrial and functional compared with the leafy avenues out east.  It was a bit of a shock to realise that I don’t currently have a significant tree – no place I go to get away from the house for space, perspective, to climb or lean against and read… I made it a bit of an objective being back to go on a tree-seeking mission.  …I didn’t find one.  But I did find a spot I like that feels tree-ish so perhaps I’ll plant one there.

So… tell me about a significant tree in your life…