Windy oak trees.

Being around people with conservation in mind means a lot. One, I don’t feel like the only one that cares. Two, you see a lot of odd behaviours- like collecting seeds from trees and storing in unexpected places- like a fridge!

So I was cleaning this fridge, and I found this bag full of ……something, germinating in fridge temperature. Whomever collected these had a good plan for them so he placed in fridge ‘for the time being,’ and he left the property soon after; that’s at least 8 months ago. Nobody wanted to throw these away until I got hold of the bag. I was fully intending to place them in rubbish as soon as I checked with everyone; once I ensured those were not a part of somebody’s on-going project.

IMG_2776.JPGThis bag full of ‘germinating something’ turned out to be baby oak trees,
“oh! those acorns what name collected at such and such time!” and nobody claimed them. So I took them home and planted them in soil. I suddenly had 10 pots of very sad looking young trees, which looked indeed quite lifeless.
Now that I separated the jumble into pots, plants looked bare, dry and weak; I took pictures of them but I felt like they were not supposed to leave the scene. That was back on the 14th of June, beginning of the winter in Southern Hemisphere.

Well, I left the pots in shade for a little while then moved them by the window, where filtered sun was available during the day. I watered them. I cut a few tips of the plant were I could tell were certainly dead, but I left the rest be. I was not very hopeful, and I was only giving them one last chance before throwing them in rubbish. ‘A couple of weeks’, I thought. But I left them longer since they were not noisy- they didn’t bother me for taking up a mere square meter of my apartment.

Then these little lumps started to appear.

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And lumps became shoots, growing into leaves. I saw life coming back into the plants, even on parts where I saw no hopeful lumps growing just yet.

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It has been almost two months, and I suspect I now have a little nursery at home. The pace they are growing, at least in parts, tells me that these are TREES that will one day be taller than the roof of my apartment. Not only that they won’t fit in pots forever, and I have a number of them, they all look seriously screwed and all over the place; not something I can just gift to people. So well, since I am stuck with them, I suppose I will continue watering them. They grow straight into the light, though…. no matter how windy they appear, the new shoots are growing straight into the sky.

Guess what, I might need a bit of land in a few years time. 😉

 

 

 

 

They are there for us, protecting us.

When I was 6 or 7 years old, our school teacher took us out of the classroom onto the playground, which was a huge open space to the 6-year-old self.

She walked around the edge of the playground with us and showed us those trees, some of which had been there for decades already.

Standing in front of an especially tall ginkgo tree, she asked us to guess how tall the tree was.

“If the tree was to lie down on the ground, how much space do you think it might take?”

And so we all spread far on the playground and stood some length away from the tree, indicating that was how tall each of us thought the tree was. Some of us guessed it better than another, and I admit, we all thought we were all so very clever.

And the teacher said something. “How far do you think the root would go?”

We knew what root was, because we had a small plant growing in a glass jar in the classroom. But we could not see the root of the ginkgo tree because it was in the ground. The teacher said to us, for a tree to stand up strong, there has to be its root 3 times as long as the height of the tree; it means that the root of the tree would be as long as 3 of the trees put together; and that the roots grow in all directions, just like branches do.

Some of us were able to logically follow her words. We imagined how long the root of the tree was and how much of the playground it might cover, undercover and unseen. And we realised that the tree next to the ginkgo tree also had its root extending so far, and the tree next to it. It was a mesmerising experience.

And then the teacher said, those roots are holding together like we hold hands. When there is an earthquake, roots are holding the ground for us. When it is really windy, the roots are holding on so the trees can stay standing. We cannot see them, but they are there for us, protecting us.

It is interesting that I grew to be a person who prefers to live a gentle life, not drawn to those who would cut trees down because there is no immediate monetary value in what is visible on the surface. It is also interesting that I grew never to hesitate for a second to believe that there is always somebody who is watching over us and ready to protect us.

If I could make a request to the great spirit

If I could make a request to the Great Spirit

I’d ask to be reborn as a gentle tree

I want to be just wherever I will be

And grow just fine the way I will grow

I can spread my branches far and wide

To provide shelter for the animals to rest

My fruits may feed some hungry friends

And my leaves may cure those who seek help

Hopefully, humans will refrain from cutting me down for money

And I will watch over you as you go about your life

And you will grow to be as beautiful as you want to be