The Tuesday tree: magical rings
The other day I wrote about a solitary sycamore. Some sycamores, though, are much more sociable. Here on the castle’s estate there are a number of rather mysterious-looking little copses of sycamores, grown up in a circle like fairy rings.
Nobody planted them like that: they seem just to have always been there.
My favourite – because it is the most mysterious and magical looking one – is the ring of trees that has grown up behind a standing stone.
Stepping into the circle, one has a distinct sense of having crossed a threshold. Perhaps only true innocents – animals and small children – can pass blithely to and fro without fear.
There is, of course, a perfectly rational explanation for these circles of trees. A sycamore must have dropped its seed-bearing keys around itself and, undisturbed by ploughing or gardening, many of the seeds germinated and grew into trees themselves. At least, I imagine that this is what happened. We see the same with old lime trees, which can grow a veritable thicket of offspring around themselves. Nonetheless, as so often with trees, the feeling remains that there is more here than can be explained by science alone.
For a discussion of literal and symbolic thresholds, see The lure of the liminal.