Since Save Our Woods asked me to write a post a couple of weeks ago, I’ve been struggling. What could I write that would be a useful contribution? Among all the knowledgeable experts on forestry and eco-systems, economics and politics, I’m just an artist who paints trees!
Then I heard Helen Goodman MP speak so passionately during the live parliamentary debate on Wednesday, using phrases like ‘free spirits’ and referring to inspiration, folklore, and physical, mental and spiritual freedom. I realized that pushed into the background by the current obsession with monetary profit, market forces and measurable assets, there are these ‘lovely intangibles’ that remain vital for our well being and valid for our argument.
How can we quantify the feeling of looking up through light-dappled leaves, that lifting of the spirits, which at the same time brings tears to our eyes? It is not only with our physical senses that we revel in the scent of damp earth, the soaring trunks, the sighing of the wind through branches. Is beauty measurable? What price do we dare to put on imagination, creativity or sense of place? And what material gain could possibly be worth the dulling of our conscience?
There is an ancient symbolism in trees and forests that runs through history. It flows through our literature, our art, our popular culture, and it is inextricably linked with freedom and justice. That is one of the reasons we are so passionately opposed to the unfair and unnecessary proposals to sell off our forests.
Do you love trees, woodlands and forests?
Do you have a favourite tree?
Share your photos, thoughts, poems, stories and love of trees in the Save Our Woods Forum.