Sometimes it pays to wander off the beaten track. This elderly, windswept, oak tree has seen better days, Two hundred years ago as a sapling it may have watched as all around it its mature relatives were hewn and carried away to build ships for the English navy.
As a sapling it braced its back against the prevailing south-westerly winds, slowly bending under the unrelenting force. As the first shoot emerged from the acorn, time and nature began its onslaught but the oak is made of stern stuff, resisting all boarders.
But nothing is immortal. Once the trunk had been breached, a slow, long process of decay begins. A wound the size of a man provides an unexpected hiding place – is this how King Charles II eluded his pursuers after the battle of Worcester?
Inside, the wood rots while feeding an army of insects but still the oak hangs on.
From within, one can spy on the world without.
From outside, one can glimpse the oak’s very heart.
This tree is awesome, magnificent. I am very grateful that I made its acquaintance.