I know this will come as a blow to many who have had their trials, joys not to mention life achievement, witnessed by Felicity the Ficus. A tree now late of the Lay Common Room in the Hall of Pure Offerings, Throssel Hole Buddhist Abbey.
There is nothing like a tree to bear witness. That’s witness for example to one’s Lay Ordination ceremony, which is definitely a significant moment in one’s life as a Buddhist. Or a living thing to keep you company when feeling alone. Take a walk amongst trees and you walk with friends.
One becomes attached to the known, the reliable, the undemanding and ever giving. I miss her too, all through lockdown and when we had no guests here I’d visit, pleading with her branches not to give up, to put on new growth even though it was cold and lonely. New growth came when guests returned, and the heating put on again. I anthropomorphize with no apology.
This week I elected to stay in a room in the Hall of Pure Offerings for the period of the monastic retreat. Room 7. Each time I pass the opened door to the common room on my way to a meditation period, I glance in and notice the space where once a graceful and loyal ‘friend’ once was. Call that sentimental attachment? Possibly.
Most people can wax lyrical about trees. And why not?
Note: The tree went to a good and caring home locally, in Allendale. Two people dedicated to caring for and growing plants, and caring for people too. Thank you.