Thursday, 10 May 2012

Growing old disgracefully

Today I have been rambling around the grounds of Hatfield House - Home to the young Elizabeth Tudor and where she is said to have heard the news that her half sister, Mary was dead and that she was now Queen. Some say it was beneath an oak not far from the house that she received the momentous news.

And the grounds are still covered in 'stag' oaks - ancient trees twisted by time but still with life in the old boughs yet. Some so old they may have been witness to the very beginnings of Elizabeth's Golden Age, albeit in their own quiet and thoughtful way. It seems certain to me that this old fella was...

My photos cannot do him justice. Not so much twisted, but tortured by time. Indeed from a distance he appears racked with pain. But come closer...

Every gnarl, knot and lump tells a tale and what stories he could tell if he could but talk. Perhaps he can, for he can clearly walk. From this angle he is crouching on all fours, his knotty face smiling, ready to spring into life when darkness falls. It's as if I almost caught him about to leap away. He is alive I tell you. Don't believe me? Well just look at this...

He may not be that pretty or have the proud stance of a young oak, but there's plenty of life in the old man yet. I suspect he will see me and many another Rambler fall by the way side!

+Many Coats+

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1 comment:

  1. SIr!

    There are those among our number who consider a state of decease to be no impediment to a fulfilling death. Huzzah to us gnarled old 'Stags'!