I’ve written a lot about the view from my window. It’s mainly been about the lamp-post which my tics often chat to as I’m settling down to sleep. I’ve also mentioned the trees, but generally just in passing. However, during lockdown they’ve become a constant reassuring presence, their massive bulk marking out the edge of my world.
On one occasion, when I was having a ‘ticcing fit’ with tight dystonic tics that meant I couldn’t move or raise the alarm, watching the tree helped me feel calm. There have been other moments when my thoughts have been stormy and looking at the light moving among the leaves has helped me feel grounded.
On Saturday I spent much of the day resting in bed and over the course of the day I did several drawings of the most prominent tree. Like with my first NHS clap-for-carers image, drawing by itself didn’t seem quite enough, so I started incorporating text as well. What emerged was a series of love letters to the sycamores.
Dear Tree, you are the horizon. It’s a May Saturday and I’m watching you bristle against a blank sky. The breeze blusters, pushing you around. Bending and flexing with big arcs and refined wiggles you withstand the pressures, and I’ve never seen you snap.
Sunlight, blue sky, dancing shadows, it all changes in a breath to heavy grey. When the rain comes, I can hear its weight and energy. The smell of tree and rain reaches me and pulls me towards you, shrinking our distance apart.
When the rain stops, I expected to notice the quiet, but I didn’t, I noticed your noise. Leaves bouncing off each other as you’re ruffled by the wind.
Late-afternoon sun wanders amongst your leaves. The changeable day’s tamed. The bluster’s now just a whisper that traces your edges.
You hold your own in the darkness, a presence of quiet shapes and loud lines. Definitely there, deftly without detail. Quietly holding space while I sleep. Goodnight, my consistently significant tree.