Monday, 7 May 2018

Arbores Rectoriae

How beautiful the day has been - although this unseasonably warm weather falling on a Rogation Day when the Church is bidden to pray for the fruitfulness of the earth does provoke sobering thoughts about climatic change and the survival of human society such as were on my mind a few days ago. But I put those reflections aside simply to enjoy the view out of the window beside which I said my prayers this morning; I said my Office at home, it being a Bank Holiday. It is nothing more or less than a parade of trees, green against a sky of peerless blue:

Just edging into the right of the photo is the fig, whose fruit appear in great profusion later in the year but which always fall before they can ripen. Behind it, in full and glorious leaf, is the great beech, the remains of whose flowers are drifting down onto the grass like cherry blossom. Next to that is the oak, slower to get going but now just bursting into leaf, and to its left the lime, which I had reduced in height by about a third last year for the sake of my neighbours: it seems to have recovered from that shock all right. Along the bottom of the photograph, to the left of the beech, we have the damson and apple trees (difficult to tell apart), and then a hedge of laurel and fir and some other stuff, and at the bottom left a small hazel which has objected a bit to the cutting-back I gave it over the winter. Finally, looming over the picture, as indeed it does over the house, is the eucalyptus planted imprudently by my predecessor-but-three in the early 1970s. It is now gigantic, and I have worried about its stability since I arrived when it was nearly ten years smaller; adding to its peril is the fact that it's rotting at the base. The diocese tells me a work-order has gone out for its felling, but I don't have a date as yet. Hopefully no summer storms will blow through in the meantime ...

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