April, Take Shelter in Trees!
Samuel Palmer’s exclamation, ‘TAKE SHELTER in TREES’ strikes a familiar chord. He wrote it after yet another disappointing exhibition, which certainly sends any artist running for cover. Hiding from the world is one thing but Taking Shelter in Trees is another. It’s about comfort. The otherness of trees, their unconcern with the human world. They are just trees, being trees. Beautiful, solid, sure, life giving, what ever you want. But the uplifting part about being in trees is surely, the knowledge that you are completely insignificant.
I sought the shelter of the wood this week in an attempt to hide from the tsunami of noise our new neighbour has unleashed, A busy road, for decades silenced, roars. Machinery drones. And although being in the wood can’t extinguish the noise, it dulls it, makes it less important. The worry and the fear pale at the immediacy of what’s going on around me. The squirrel angrily clucking and waggling it’s tail, eventually runs straight at me…. help!… The chiff chaff, the wood pecker and a host of warblers intent on reproduction take no notice of me. A crimson spider flashes it’s slow progress across the leaf litter.
Sitting in the sun with my back against a smooth ash tree I try to draw the emerald slick of dogs mercury. Pulsating green at the feet of trees since February, it’s time is almost over as the nettles begin their unstoppable surge upwards and the canopy far above it’s head begins to close over. Drowning hopelessly in green, my pastels and my talent (?) no match for this vivid carpet. I leave, revived by all the riches in the world, found in trees just being trees.