ImageThis week my nature solo led me to a circle of cork oak trees in the Tokai Arboretum. The tremendously thick, rugged bark of these trees protects them from forest fires in their native Mediterranean habitats. As the tree grows in girth, the bark cracks and splits. The trunk seems to be made of rock riven with deeply weathered canyons. Closely observing nature ‘out there’ helps me to appreciate and accept my own nature ‘in here’.

Insulated from the world
My heart lies protected
Hiding its growing pains
Deep within my defences.

But the sap is rising
Life demands emergence.
Day overwhelms the dark
Love soaks out stubborn fear.

Obey the urge to swell, to crack
To split apart encircling bark.
Then let the canyons weather
And revel in your fissured form!

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