Recently I felt compelled to re-visit this care-worn oak tree, standing in a National Trust meadow.
Having first approached it from the north, I was amazed to discover the deep fissure along its southern side. It is from this direction that comes the prevailing wind, south-westerly, off the Atlantic. It has taken its toll of this old gentleman but he hangs on.
As one can see, his back is bent, his soft belly exposed to the ravages of insects, fungus and the weather, but still he produces a few leaves.
I looked in vain for an acorn, but none were to be found. Perhaps it was a few weeks too early but already the leaves were falling.
Winter approaches and soon he will face another assault, something he has lived through for perhaps two or three hundred times.
I stroked the old man’s gnarled bark, told him I often think of him and wish