The point is, context is everything. We are creatures of our environment.
If you think my autobiography is weird, check this out. It’s a Foreword from a working-class man’s memoirs, which I found at the historical society yesterday. He was born in Whitwick in the late 19th Century. He was part of a large family, and brought up in severe poverty on a farm. He ended up living in Africa for a while. The text goes up to the 1920s. He’s got a bit of a tree thing going on here in a mixture of metaphor and reality, not quite sure which is which at times, but some nice sentiments. I think I get what he means.
Q. What is the significance of trees?
(which reminds me, I've got a story about a tree).
Here is the Forward to the aforementioned memoirs…
In some ways life does seem to revolve around a circle of trees. We leave the shelter of our first; we try as we go to cling to its surface roots but one by one we begin to shed them. Of the deeply hidden roots we are unaware. We move in and out around the circle. Some trees we attempt to climb. Under some we find hidden treasure. Some we would wish to fell. Others we try to hide behind. We recognize many again, though we find them in different places and climates. Some seem to shade us wherever we go. Inevitably we tire and find ourselevs looking again for the first tree. Under this many of us finally rest.
I seemed to have moved from The Oaks (in Charnwood) into even stouter Hearts of Oak and then, collecting Jean, continued our circle through flame trees, Barazas palms, Thorn trees, Mango, Jacaranda, Baobabs (which God planted upside down), fig trees, Kapoks, Coconut palms, Mahogany and, later, Olives and Spanish Oaks.
Amongst our sadder experiences is our constant witness of man’s destruction of his trees, the encroachment of deserts and the unwelcome scarring of our earth. Populations grow and, we are told, progress. But space between the trees increases, our journeys grow longer and protective shade diminishes. Perhaps we need to revive again some of the strong roots of our past?
Shall we talk about coal mining next?
To cut a long story short: