the lady of the woods and her neighbours
Now, here’s a question that was bound to occur me one Tuesday or another. What kind of tree do you see yourself as? (Hideous grammar: I mean, ‘As what kind of tree do you see yourself?’)
I ask, because today’s tree is the most elegant of all trees: the lady of the woods, the Silver Birch.
Summer or winter, the birch is ineffably elegant, standing tall, pale and slim beside its bulkier neighbours. It grows well in the thin soil of the Scottish Highlands and graces many an otherwise bleak glen. Here on the highland line, it mixes with the many other species that thrive here, but always seems just a little aloof.
I think I would like to be a silver birch. Pale I can certainly manage. Tall, yes. Aloof, well…I don’t think I am, any more than living in a place like this dictates…private might be my preferred word (ironic, as I am broadcasting myself in a blog). Alas, however, I will always be a little more, shall we say, comfortable in silhouette than some of my elvishly slim, birch-like friends. Perhaps I am more of a Rowan tree: a native of the west of Scotland, lover of high wild places, ordinary yet slightly mysterious, entwined with tales of old magic; pretty enough in the spring, colourful and bountiful in the autumn. That is a tree I’d be happy to associate with. (Or even, with which to associate.) How about you?