Tuesday, June 19, 2012
Ancient Trees and sweet bush cooking
This photo captures the joy that connects people with each other and the bush - which is what the Bendigo Family Nature Club is all about! Sunday was a very special event in the Wellsford Forest, taking time out with Bendigo's ancient trees and enjoying our winter.
Below we are measuring one of these 500 year old beautiful iron barks with the most useful and near-by measuring tool on hand - kids!
Nicole, with Stuart and the Bendigo Field Naturalists held a fabulous event. (thanks for everyone's patience to make the the car convoy out to the site work!)
Nicole has done some reflective writing about these ancient trees, that you might like to share with your children.
Just as we feel a great sense of calm, reassurance, love and protection when we spend time with grandparents, I feel those same feelings in the presence of these grand old trees.
Before us, on Sunday, was a tree that had stood the test of time. Similar to a treasured elderly grandmother or a proud old grandfather it's once strong limbs are now twisted and gnarled, it's canopy thinning, it's bark slowly shedding and the many scars of it's tumultuous life on show for all to see. It towers above other trees and stands firm with it's broad trunk. What must this tree have witnessed in it's lifetime ?
It would have seen the earliest of pioneers pass by, the heady days of gold rush activity and then the noise and dust of modern machines zooming through the forest. Why was it never cut down like so many trees around it - especially in the early days of white settlement when timber was one of life's daily necessities ?
Before that, for many hundreds of years, it would have witnessed the occasional passing of a tribe of aboriginals going about their search for food throughout the seasons.
It would have fed generations of creatures with it's blossom, housed many families amid it's branches and hollows and sheltered needy animals under it's canopy of shade.
And then, most remarkable of all - this tree has survived the most powerful force of all - Mother Nature. It would have experienced the harshest droughts, the most violent storms, the drenching rains and the wildest fires. And still it stands.
And despite all of that, throughout it's 500 odd years it may never have ever had a group of admiring mums, dads and children crowded around it looking up at it with awe - not ever. It may have waited all it's life for such a moment.
As I thought these things I felt an overwhelming urge to give it a hug. To silently embrace the tree and quietly thank it for hanging on long enough for me to see it, feel it's spirit and 'hear' it's story.
And in that moment, without using any words, this tree in it's own humble and unassuming way was able to remind me in the most simple and fundamental way about the virtues of time, strength, courage, resilience, patience, kindness, compassion, generosity and family. Just as a grandparent can do.