Photos Copyright: Maggie May
When a friend asked me if I would like to go to Westonbirt Arboretum in Gloucestershire for a day trip, I jumped at the idea.
I had been once before in the Autumn time when the trees were all reds and yellows and copper colours and leaves crunched underfoot. On that occasion I had gone as a school helper and the small group of children that I was given to look after, were a lively bunch and ran off in all directions. There hadn't been any time at all to soak up the beauty of the surroundings. I was far too busy catching up with them and making sure that I didn't lose anybody.
This time, being June, there was a completely different feel to the place and there were rhododendrons in bloom and everything looked bright green. I went armed with my camera and D and I stopped many times to take pictures and gaze at the beauty of the place, noticing the contrasts of light and shade on the many different colours of green and quite often on the coppery red colour of Japanese Maples.
We went armed with all sorts of equipment to stave off the rain because it had been forecast and the sky looked somewhat over cast at times.
However, as the day progressed, it became obvious that we were going to be lucky with the weather.
The grounds are quite vast and were once owned by a private family but have now been opened to the public.
D and I walked a good few hours and it was wonderful to see the beauty of the place and to be part of it for a fair sized chunk of the day. We ate our sandwiches and drank our drinks before walking some more and going back home.
Whilst looking at the wonderful array of beautiful trees, I started to think how sturdy they are and how long they must have been standing there. A good few were much older than my 68 years. What a story they could tell if only they could speak. All the changes that had happened and different people that they must have seen, if they were able to see over the years.
I also started to think about their roots.
The roots on all the big trees must go down very deeply and spread out widely.
People also need to make roots in their lives. We need to be firmly rooted in our friendships and our beliefs, anchoring ourselves down so that we would withstand all but the most ferocious storm. Spreading out our friendships and sharing our beliefs.
All these striking differences in the structure and the colour and the leaves, makes me think how wonderful it is that we are all so different and yet we are all part of the same *forest.*
*The trees of the Lord are well watered.* Psalm 104 v 16 NIV