There is a tree I go and sit in – an old ash just at the edge of a small area of woodland in the nature reserve near my home. It has become an important place to “just be” in a more embedded way in the landscape.

Remedy for Recovery


Sit astride the mossy bent limb

of an ash at the edge of the woods.

Breathe in and up

through your head and hair

to the canopy and beyond.

Breathe out and down

through trunk and roots

to the humus and beyond.

Stroke the moss between your thighs.

See how the limb stretches out

beyond you, curving down

onto the ground and up again,

sprouting upright leafy twigs.

Tune into sounds around:

plaintive cries of a young raptor,

squirrels squabbling over hazelnuts,

farewell wheetings of a chiffchaff,

robin song in a nearby tree.

Below, in sunny gaps of

leftover summer warmth,

see insects flickering:

bees, moths, speckled wood butterflies.

This ancient ash is ailing,

as is its neighbour.

The young ones around

are mostly dead.

Share with this gentle tree

the intention to live.


Near the base of the trunk can be seen a length of deeply embedded barbed wire, left over from a fence that years ago ran along the edge of these woods.  With grace, it lives and continues to survive Рa being of great beauty Рcarrying and accommodating  what the world has thrown at it.