In memory of a tree

“As in a dream, he shows her a point beyond the tree, hears himself say, ‘This is where I come from’, and falls back, exhausted.” 1

I live a minute walk from the east side of Lincoln South Common but had never visited, nor even heard of, Cross O’Cliff Orchard until recently. The orchard is across the road (‘Cross O’Cliff Hill’) from the west side of the Common, so I took a half hour walk this afternoon to the orchard for the first time.

Click on the image to read the text and learn about Lincoln South Common.

On my way there, I was reminded of the recent disappearance of a favourite landmark. It was a large tree that sat on the highest south ridge of the Common and was bent into a distinctive shape, so much so that it was distinguishable from across the city. I have remarked on this tree to people for many years and noticed recently while walking home that it was suddenly absent from the landscape. Previously, to observe it was a sign that I was orientated towards home and now my ‘compass’ feels broken.

[Click the photos to see the full size image. The original images can be seen on Flickr. Thanks to the various people who have taken them.]

It seems that my landmark was cut down to make way for another anticipated landmark: Lincolnshire Bomber Command Memorial.

The Bomber Command planning notice.

IMG_20140427_162355 IMG_20140427_145212 I am, in principle, in support of large public pieces of art, and it would be wonderful to have one located so close to where I live, but I cannot find any enthusiasm for another war memorial, not least one called ‘Bomber Command’.

Angry and depressed by the loss of this tree, my tree, our tree on common land, my spirits were lifted as I entered the orchard.

“One of England’s few surviving traditional old orchards… at least 125 years old.”

The sun was warm and the trees were in full blossom. I felt like I had entered a secret world.

IMG_20140427_154306 IMG_20140427_153940 IMG_20140427_154333

Under the canopy of some old trees.
Lots of young trees have been planted.
There were ‘Forget-me-not’ flowers everywhere.

I can’t wait to return with family and friends to enjoy food and drink together. We shall pass the old tree stump and remember its absence from our horizon towards home.

  1. Thanks to Rob for this quote from Chris Marker’s La Jetée.

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