When I was a child I used to spend many hours gazing out of my bedroom window at the small woodland behind my house. I made up stories and became so involved in my world that it often wasn’t until my mum called me for tea that I would realise my room had gone dark and a whole afternoon had just evaporated in my imaginary ramblings among the dense trees and foliage that began at the end of the garden.
From my current home I can also see trees, many of which are evergreen but even those who lose their leaves in autumn still maintain a start beauty in their bare state. Yet rarely, if ever, do I allow myself to once again gaze out for hours on end and just dream. Life of course has more responsibilities now that I’m quite a bit older than the child who day dreamed to her heart’s content. There’s also that sense of keeping busy and making sure I’m using my time productively as the clock ticks by and I’m increasingly aware that I need to make the most of each day I have on this earth. How lucky my younger self was; to have the time to dwell in her imagination.
The child I was used trees to fuel her imagined adventures, I now see them as a constant, reassuring presence, which also reflects the seasons, the passage of time and their steadfastness in the face of change all around them. They are seemingly oblivious to our short existence, our brief visit to this earth, as they stand for generations, watching people come and go. I wonder if the trees I admired as a child still remain, or has the demand for ‘progress’ seen them cut down? The UK has lost so much of its woodland over the last century, and more seems to be disappearing year-on-year as the demand for housing and land for food production grows. There needs to be more effort made to protect our ancient woodland and all the green spaces in our towns and cities, so that hopefully children in the future will still be able to gaze out of their window for hours and let their imagination flow through the branches of trees.
(Title inspired by Calvin and Hobbes, created by Bill Watterson)