Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Tree survival

A solitary elm stands on the edge of a field just across the parish boundary towards Laceby. I went out to look for it at the end of last week when a combination of family illnesses meant I hadn’t got away on my annual Retreat; a newsletter from the local Wildlife Trust had drawn our attention to it. I found I’d actually walked past it before without noticing it. The speculation in the newsletter is that its standing alone had isolated it from contamination from disease spread to other elms.

Its appearance and survival are both magnificent, although its loneness has a strange sense of sadness; I’m minded again of the sense of the undermining of Christian community in the suggestions that we keep apart by not sharing the Peace or the chalice lest our proximity to other Christians makes us vulnerable to swine flu.

Meanwhile, the second photograph is the stump of a tree which has not survived: it is the one at the entrance to the churchyard at St Nicolas’, Great Coates felled on Sunday.

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