Back at the start of February when we had a slither of snow, though some would call it a nightmarish blizzard, I stopped on my way to work and took this photograph. Best to click and enlarge it to see how good it looks.
Since then I’ve cultivated a sort of relationship with this lonely tree.
I pass it twice a day to and from work. There’s a small layby where I park up and snap a few shots, gaze across the fields and enjoy a moment of peace after a hectic office session. I take a lot of landscape photos around where I live, although some are not all that inspiring, Norfolk is kinda flat and you have to travel afar to see any drastic change in geology – hope that’s the right word.
I’ve started uploading some of my better shots to Flikr (check the link at the top of the page) mainly of my travels around Norfolk and Cambridgeshire. I’ve just checked through my photo on my PC, dating back to 2002, and was surprised to find almost 5,000 of them! That’s a lot of photos! God bless digital cameras eh!
So, back to the tree.
In recent weeks the landscape has been transformed, from snow drenched wasteland to brown wasteland and finally to an oasis of colour. This time of year farmers here grow a serious amount of rapeseed and the dazzling yellow colour is stunning. It’s like something out of Wizard of Oz – almost cartoon like, and set against the greenery it feels surreal.
After a few weeks of hard rain the sun came out today.
On my way home I drove with the windows down, sunglasses on, and radio blaring as I chased cloud shadows along the road. I pulled over at the tree and watched pools of sunlight roll across the fields and knew it was perfect timing to snap a photo of my silent wooden pal. Again, it’s well worth clicking to view it larger.
What a difference!
Despite the tree not sharing in nature’s bloom I get the impression it’s happy to be surrounded by a rampant flood of colour. Rapeseed grows very fast, a couple of weeks ago there wasn’t a yellow flower in sight. It gets pretty tall too, I was stood on the edge of the field and the happy sunflower wannabes came up to my chest.
I wonder if the tree could talk it would let me know if it’s happy. I think it is. Now that colour has chased away the barren bleak winter palette.
I had a feeling the tree spoke to me:
“Wonderful to see you again, traveller, thanks for stopping by. As you can see I’m doing just fine on this glorious day. The clouds are racing and the sun is warming my branches. I tip my hat to you, traveller, and thank you for pausing a moment. Same time tomorrow?”
To which I replied:
“A moment is enough to cleanse my head of a busy day. A moment is enough to let the cool breeze, summer sun and tangy mellow yellow chase away the modern world…but never enough to keep it at bay. So yes, tree, same time tomorrow, if it please ya.”
It’s a good conversation.
Held in silence. Held in private with an audience of natures finest creations. Many of us spend way too much time hooked up to modern-day paraphernalia and for me this is a stop-gap method of lowering the background noise of everything busy, noisy and fast. I love technology – the internet, Blu-ray, text messaging and on-demand everything, yet I long for a life without feeling it’s necessary to be a slave to the modern world. So those quiet moments are like stepping into a bubble of joy, where the rest of the world fades away, leaving me alone with my tree.
I hope that didn’t come across as too deep or too hippy but it’s the best way to describe it. It’s the same feeling I get when I need to go to the beach. Not want, need. It’s a strange connected feeling, knowing there’s more out there than a car, tv, noise and confusion. This is going to sound weird because I’m not one for spiritual stuff, but it’s like my spirit/soul/inner light, call it what you like, needs to released once in a while.
Like washing my spirit in a mountain spring.
Or an addict looking for a fix, I yearn for a hit of a vast open space – countryside or ocean. There’s a sudden uplifting sensation, like a shadow shifting away from my spirit. It’s like I’m having my essence washed clean by nature. I love it. My friends are always surprised when I say I’d gladly trade everything I have for a bit of beach, a hut, fishing net, boat and something to write on – pad and pencil will do just fine. I don’t need the modern world. Maybe I was born in the wrong era.
I crave peace. Not necessarily solitude but somewhere without modern garbage.
I took a few shots in different directions to try to capture how much of the landscape is swamped in this beautiful happy yellowness. It stretches out in all directions for several miles. It’s a shame it doesn’t stay like that all summer, but soon the rapeseed will lose its yellow flare and change to a sea of green.
And so I returned home.
To bricks and mortar, to being surrounded by electronic gadgets, noise and all the modern-day demands that don’t sit well with my nature. It may look hypocritical that after dousing myself in peace, with such talk of exchanging all that I have and all that I am, for a life without chaos – that I blog about it. Just like you I am a slave. But I have a good reason today.
I wanted to share this experience with you, dear blog reader, in the hope that you too will find your moment of peace, and enjoy a break from the hustle and bustle of your 24/7 life.
Maybe one day I’ll find my bit of beach, wherever that may be. I hope you can find yours. Until then I have my tree.
Thank you tree.