By: Lydia Crow
Originally written for: 2011 Trees for Life Charity Exhibition.
I can’t remember what he looked like, now. I’ve forgotten the detail of his features. In my mind, his face is as worn and rough as the bark of the trees which he tended until the end.
His hands are as gnarled as old, twisted roots, and just as full of life. For he may look old and weary, but he has the strength of the whole forest running through him.
It wasn’t a forest though, and it isn’t now. But to a child growing up in a kingdom of cliff and stone, that well-tended wood was as large and magical as Sherwood. I remember throwing copper and watching it sink in the water, dappled by the light filtering through the branches above. I don’t even remember making a wish, but perhaps wishes are not necessary in such havens of childhood adventures.
Though he’s gone now, that old man living in his dark, low cottage of another age, and though I never really knew him, I think if I return to that valley wearing my adult shoes I’ll see him there, back stooped and working amongst the trees. His trees, our trees.