Thursday, January 5, 2012


Some years ago a large Lentisc (Mastic tree) that I could see from my kitchen window blew down in a storm.  The tree was old and weak; rotting from the inside.  Through subsequent seasons the hollow stub that remained rooted in the ground began to show new growth until, several seasons on from the tree’s destruction, the many new shoots thrown up by the ancient root had developed into something of a large shrub.  To try to encourage the growth of a single strong new tree from the original root, I thinned the ‘shrub’ to a single shoot .  In due time this sapling may grow into as fine and stately a tree as was its parent.  Inevitably the new tree will one day grow old, rot from the inside and, unable to resist the ravages of future storms, be broken to its destruction.  Maybe the generations-old root will again throw up new growth.  Whether or not this will be the case I can not know but I can be confident that, should it be so, I shall not be around to witness it.  My own shoots, my grandchildren, may, and if not themselves perhaps their shoots will enjoy something of that which I enjoyed of the tree’s parent.  Should this be the case I can be comfortable in that my arboreal prunings of the past week shall not have been in vain; the circle will not have been broken.


Anonymous said...

And how is life in Greece these days of fraught and fright and teargas. Shall she regenerate once more?

John Foster said...

Life in Greece, or my part of it at least, is as wonderful as ever. Each time I venture beyond my hermitage I notice more, bigger vehicles displacing the wrecks that used to chug around, fewer donkeys, more stores full of expensive consumer goods, supermarkets stocked with expensive exotic foods and myriad other trappings of prosperity. It all has a sense of deja-vu for me. I remember when I lived in the UK hearing tales of economic doom and gloom which did not quite tally with the stampede of consumerism I was witnessing all around me. As for regeneration, the sapling I so lovingly tried to nurture was blown down in a storm. I hope that its loss is not a portent of Greece's future!