Today we went for a walk. This is an example of the crazy things I have got planned for my month long sabbatical. It was nice. We may well do it again.
One of the first things we saw was large fallen tree, a beech perhaps but difficult to positively identify without scrabbling and a festive excess of cheese and pringles has rendered this impossible. It had crashed into another on its unfortunate descent, felling a further substantial specimen as it toppled. We need more trees not less, I thought. Although not surprised, the high winds and wet soil often add up to unstable footings, the sight did make me feel a bit sad.
Then, as we wandered around the garden where OH used to work, we came across plants that he had put in more than 7 years ago. A three metre high Leptospermum grandiflorum, grown from seed I collected from Marwood Hill Gardens, a Crinodendron hookerianum now a fine looking large specimen, a dozen fruit trees all maturing well, a silver birch past the lanky teenage stage, amongst many others. And I thought, a good job. In our own way, as gardeners, we help to renew, to replant and to take up the slack. We may not be as good as Mother Nature, but we do our best.
Trees fall, it is the nature of things. If left to their own devices they may well rejuvenate from the rootball, any dead will provide a new ecosystem for all manner of birds and beasties, fungi and fauna, and ultimately will feed the soil it lies upon. All is not lost. Often a tragedy is not as fruitless as it first appears.
Which brings me in a very round about, the taxi driver from hell, way to the year ahead, which is shuffling in the wings as I type. We must all do what we can to find positives amongst the many negatives. To keep on doing what we can to make this a better world. To spread the love. To renew and replant, to take up the slack. All is not lost. I am hoping so anyway.
And I wish you all a fabulous 2020, filled with fulfilment and joy and of course love. And if you feel so inclined, get out there and plant some things.