Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The tree

I have a love for trees. I'm not sure why, but it stems way back to childhood. They're the subject in many of my paintings (of course not my beach ones...) and now I live among them nestled in my house in the woods. Trees make me feel good and safe. Its a deep comfort, like I'm very close to God. It is no wonder that when a friend sent us to this particular tree, I was in awe!

This tree is estimated to be 500 years old.

How amazing! Its outlived generation upon generation. When you think of a very long life at 100 years old, the thought of 500 is huge. Yet here in this place, this exact spot, this tree has grown for all this time...

Oh, the things it must have seen! It makes me wonder. It must have experienced it all. The good, the bad, the horrible and hopefully beneath its protection, love. I like to imagine two lovers picnicking under its canopy on a warm summer day. I'd like it to be me there on the red checkered blanket pulling a bottle of warm red wine out of a basket to sip with Mike. Laughing and giggling, our cares would fade away to only this particular moment in time. My thoughts carry me as if in a dream...

This tree lives in Ireland. Its located on the magnificent grounds of Birr Castle. After leaving, I realized I never even touched the tree. Why was that? The more I thought about it, I realized how overwhelmed I was beneath its branches and my feeling of being close to God was increased in multiples. My body tingled as I felt in the presence of something ancient. I'm not the only one to be humbled by it. The grass is mowed in a circle beneath the entire canopy. It gives it a feeling of majesty. As soon as you step into that circle you begin to feel different.

The tree has suffered greatly,
yet survived.

I've included this one to give you scale.

Even up close, something so special glows in this tree. I was surprised at how little foliage it needed to survive. Here in Maine, I'm used to maples and oaks with their huge dense canopies. This ancient beauty, sorry to say I have no idea what type of tree it is, was see-through. It reminded me of the Irish people themselves. Not flamboyant. Simple in their desires and only taking from the land what is necessary to survive. With this thought, don't the maples and oaks remind you of Americans? Always needing abundance and characteristically showy...

We could learn from the trees.


  1. absolutely AMAZING tree. I understand you tree thing!

  2. wow that is an awe inspiring tree. I share your tree fetish. I think a lot of people feel this way about trees. They are so majestic and reverent. It breaks my heart to think of all the trees that are cut down simply because they are in the way of us humans.

  3. Be da hokey! I know Birr so well, a fine town so near to my original homestead. Did ye go into Dooly's hotel and sit by the fire with a pint and a paper? Nothing better!

    Magnifico tree and you can feel their life's energy when near them.I love old trees.Give them a hug when you can.

  4. It's nice to know there are more tree lovers out there. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Grandiose, royal, solennel cet arbre! Tout comme toi j'adore les arbres. Ils m'ont toujours impressionnée. Lorsque je vivais à Port-Grimaud, à cette époque Fauve était petite et je la conduisais régulièrement à la garderie lorsque je devais faire mes courses. La route que j'empruntais traversait les vignes. Quand au détour d'un virage un arbre magnifique surgissait. Je ne pouvais jamais passer comme ça dans l'indifférence ! Je ralentissais comme hypnotisée. Lui aussi était vieux, mais bien moins que celui de ta photo. Il ruisselait de jeunes pousses au printemps, en été, à l'automne et aussi en hiver il était toujours somptueux. Je pense que les arbres sont chargés de bonnes ondes.
    Lorsque tu es triste, lorsque ton coeur est écorché enlaces très fort le tronc d'un arbre et parles-lui. Il te répondra en te communiquant toute son énergie...
    Tu en as besoin en ce moment... Je pense à toi. Bises

  6. This is a lovely tribute to one of my favorite trees also. I saw it last in 2006, and am saddened to see that it has lost major limbs since then.

    Lord Rosse of Birr Castle calls it the "Carroll Oak" because, he says, it was there when the "previous owners" of his demesne -- the Ely O'Carroll clan -- held sway in the area.

    Here's a set of photos of the magnificent oak from the summer of '06: http://sharrington.net/RedTreeTrail/RT21.htm

  7. Yes, I also share a love for trees. I could look at a tree for hours and not tire of it. I am lucky to live among them and they have always been inspiring to me. I love watching how they change from season to season. And now, in winter I get to see all of them... their bare branches are absolutely beautiful. Trees are often a subject I like to use in my art. This 500 year old tree is absolutely amazing! I would love to sit underneath that tree.


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