Published: 30th November 2022
The tree that outlived the dinosaur
I was walking down the main street of a village in the late morning autumn sunlight. It was a cool day yet felt warm, due to the intensity of the sun and the wonderful bright blue sky.
All of a sudden, I noticed an amazing tree with leaves turning from green to a rich yellow, before they fall to the ground. It is a tree I know well - I once planted one in my garden and the more it grew, the more I admired it.
The leaves are unmistakable due to their shape. It is the ginkgo biloba, often just called the ginkgo. A tree that is so old that it is the only survivor of a group of plants so ancient that it pre dates the dinosaurs. In fact, the world famous Royal Botanic Gardens Kew call it ‘the tree that outlived the dinosaurs’.
On looking at the picture more, one notices the three main colours. Green from the summer leaf colour, yellow from the autumn colour and the blue of the sky; well eventually the sky blue was noticed. This colour combination has a certain mellowness to it. And with that feeling of mellowness I carried on my errand all the more relaxed for having seen this wonderful sight. This wonderful tree as it prepares to bare itself for the winter ahead.
It was only when looking at this picture some days later that the sturdy nature of the leaves were noticed. Usually, the leaf that falls in the autumn is relatively fragile or thin, this leaf is none of those. It still has substance; however, it has none of the brighter bronze colour or red that can so catch our attention, or create distraction. It has subtleness, the volume of leaves create substance. Unless the wind is strong these leaves are less likely to blow around due to their weight
All too often one is caught by the distraction of something brighter - detracting from action.
Now it is interesting returning to the picture – subtleness and substance. Something the world should value…but does it?
My best wishes,