Trees

How perfect are trees? Spending a couple of highly pleasurable hours this afternoon doing nothing more than sitting under the shady green boughs of a gorgeous oak tree, protected from the sun beating down on the Meadows, reading a good book while the world went past slowly. Very little noise apart from the glorious sound the summer breeze makes as it passes through the emerald leaves. A youngish tree on one side of me, probably no more than 70 or 80 years old, the other side a huge, gnarled oak. More trees stretching off down the line of each walkway bisecting the grass of the vast park, one of the nicest spots in Edinburgh. Looking right up vibrant green fills my vision, contrasting beautifully with clear blue skies.

How perfect are trees? Perfect to sit under and think, read, drink, rest, doze, snog. They give us shelter from sun and storm, their roots hold the soil together and keep it rich and vital. We can make fuel from them to heat us, we can decorate them, we can make homes from them. Roots deep in the earth and boughs reaching towards the skies, connecting land and heaven through a vibrant, ever-changing living entity. Most days we all walk past treees without thinking. Sometimes we should all just stop our hectic commuting and rushing and just gaze on the simple beauty of a tree and give it to the silent invitaation it gives out to beggar and king to rest safely beneath it’s covering limbs.

Factor in a young girl who was sitting near Middle Meadow Walk who opens her instrument case and brought out a cello. Cellos are one of my favourite instruments – not as screechy as a violin can sometimes be, not as deep as a double bass. It can be light or mournful. And what did this girl play? Cello pieces by Bach, pretty much my favourite string compositions – anyone who has never listened to Yoyo Ma playing these has never truly lived, it is poetry without words. Shady tree, book, half dozing in the peaceful summer afternoon and Bach wafting gently on the breeze, the notes playing in between the leaves in the canopy. Amazing how sometimes the simplest pleasures are the finest.