Last night the sky was clear of cloud and full of stars. An immense universe spread out in front of me. I tried to take a photograph of the constellations above me but failed. However it made me think about mortality and my father who died young and what we leave behind. My father died before any of my nieces and nephews were born so they have no memory of him. I have a few photos, some scraps of his handwriting and memories.
So what will I and my husband leave behind? We have planted shelter belts and orchards at the small holding but these tend to be, or can be, short-lived. However on the holding we have a number of substantial trees – the massive oak in the field, a fine focal point at any time of year, and 2 walnuts, Juglans regia.
Earlier this year I stumbled across a young walnut growing in the veg. plot. I potted it up and we shall plant it out in the field. In spite of the name the English Walnut isn’t a native tree, it originates from Central Asia.
But as the juvenile sprouted from a nut that had been overlooked by the squirrel, (a rare occurrence), we shall keep it. The English walnut has one of the biggest canopies of all so it needs space. Perhaps we shall plant it where another large oak once stood (gone before the start of our tenure here). With luck it will grow into a tree the size of our remaining oak.
A good thing to leave behind.
Reading this week: Notes from Walnut Tree Farm by Roger Deakin