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A Conference of Trees

October 6, 2019


Saturday 28th September was clear and sunny at the Dove until we started to rehearse at 5pm. Then the rain started, gently at first.


The musicians retreated, with their instruments, to the dry spot under the Tree-house Library. Some of the readers were missing. Parts were reassigned. The rain increased. We stood under whatever protection we could find: umbrellas, hoods, trees. A random child – to my horror – climbed over the tree-house balustrade and down a wet slippery branch. Scripts became soggy and illegible as the light faded. Glasses needed constant wiping. We struggled through the rehearsal and then the Conference. The surprisingly large audience who had turned up in spite of the rain were appreciative. The musicians, Maya and Bron, had produced a thrilling performance in very difficult conditions, and the readers, too, coped magnificently, led by Di as Weeping Ash, the convener of the Conference.

Oh if we trees could speak
in this time of crisis
what might we say?

Someone asked (about the script) “Can other people use it?” and I realised that my script, the end result of months of work, has been widely circulated without even my name being on it. My youngest child has gone out to make her own way in the world, and I didn’t  kiss her goodbye.

I said, “Yes, but I’d like to know about it.” I was cold and wet and weary.

I am cheered by the memory of two lovely visitors from Watchet earlier that day. They insisted on walking round the Circle of Trees with me, taking turns to read each part of the script as we came to the relevant tree. That in itself was a beautiful and sufficient ceremony.

ELDER: If only folk knew
all the hurts we can heal
they would honour the Elder.

CHORUS: They think they’re Lords of Earth
but they’re outnumbered millions to one
by little things that run the world
and will not miss them when they’re gone.

See Bron’s post for the rest of the story.

Posted by Ama Bolton. Photo by Deb Weinreb via Facebook.

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