Technically this post should have been written for last week but I completely forgot about when I’ve been doing this series of posts so it’s being published this week instead.
Trees tell the story of life in a few different ways. It’s not always obvious that they do this, but the more I thought about it the more I realised that trees do tell stories of life.
The first way they tell stories is through their rings. The number of rings can be used to tell us how old a tree is and their thickness something of climate at the time when they grew. At times several different trees and their rings have been lined up to establish a chronology which spans hundreds of years.
Growing up professions of love were marked through writing on a tree (at least according to the books I read and the movies I watched). The initials of two people surrounded by a heart were inscribed to mark what at the time was considered to be a momentous occasion. This habit appears to be dying out a little (which is probably a good thing for the health of trees) so I haven’t seen very many but still the symbolism of this act remains imprinted in my mind. The story of life shared by writing on a tree, which will last for many years to come is something which makes me wonder what has happened to the people involved.*
When I first started thinking about this post I remembered a disc of wood which I saw last year. It was cut from a Belgian tree which lived for more than 200 years. The plaque beside it had information about some key events which occurred whilst the tree grew. The tree itself had no visible markings of these events however during the First World War shrapnel had scarred the tree causing the wood which grew around it to appear blueish. This tree had unintentionally kept a record of mankind’s activities by simply continuing to grow.
The stories of life, or rather the past, which we can learn from trees are quite fascinating. They are not always easy to find but stories can be found if you search closely enough.
I’ve finished this post having written all that could be expected to be read in a single sitting and I realise that there is so much more I could write. If you think there’s something I’ve missed, feel free to tell me about it.