Obsessions

30 June 2016

The world feels a bit scary just now. It’s unusual for everyone in the country to be anxious about the same thing all at the same time, and it’s distracting, and upsetting.

Whenever we think about what life is going to be like post-Brexit, whether you wanted it or didn’t want it, you have to use the word ‘probably’. It’ll probably be all right. It probably will be, but the problem with probably is that it’s uncertain, and uncertainty itself is a source of fear, because it stops you making plans to deal with the thing you’re actually scared of.

I like trees, more than most people, even more than people who quite like trees. I feel a little out of kilter if I’m near a tree and don’t know what kind it is. It’s one of the big things about me, everyone knows I like trees.  If I’m in a boring meeting I might look like I’m concentrating, but I might just be thinking about trees. Not many people get it, but there you go. 

I know the trees at our Kent hospice where my office is very well now. I know their cycles, which of course are unaffected by things like referendums. 

Near the oasthouse there is a young tulip tree. That’s very exciting because eventually it will have the most beautiful flowers (which are like tulips) but tulip trees don’t flower until they are about 15 years old, and I don’t know how old ours is. By the look of it its first flower will be some time yet, after the next elections and Brexit negotiations have been and gone and we’ll know more about where we are (probably). The tulip tree will flower regardless, in its own time, living its own life. 

Trees aren’t permanent though, they grow and change and die, and things can happen to them like diseases or us chopping them down. But they do what they do and they feel no fear.

Family is a bit like that. Families grow and change and things happen. They do feel fear, but that doesn’t stop them doing what they do, and doesn’t stop them blossoming.  From my office I watch families park up (by the plum trees) and as I’ve gotten to recognise many of them, I notice them changing and the children growing. 

Trusting in the more solid things that truly protect and support us, especially family, is the way to go when the more transient and chaotic stuff like politics and economics threatens to, or actually does, impact on our lives. Maybe Demelza is a bit like that as well.  We change and grow and have better and harder times, but we’re here, doing what we do.  We’re especially here to keep families strong and supported, for their children and for each other.

So do you see the thing about trees now? Oh, you still think it’s weird.

"Families grow and change and things happen. They do feel fear, but that doesn’t stop them doing what they do, and doesn’t stop them blossoming."