My Garden ~ a Kiwi's take on life

Life is a lot like a garden

My Garden ~ living legacies from our parents


Sometimes I think I must seem to go on about trees being planted and trees being felled. Trees are the ultimate plant. In my previous post, I quoted Al Gore: “… the substantive significance – of planting a tree has universal power in every culture and every society on Earth”.  Planting any tree is an action that forges a deep connection between human emotion and the well-being of ecological environment.

The significance of growing a tree has its roots in the mists of time. In this country, we have a taonga – a treasure, a living legacy. Tane Mahuta is a giant kauri tree growing in Northland’s Waipoua Forest and is considered to be more than 1,200 years old. Imagine. In its lifetime what has occurred on this earth. And it still stands, silent and statuesque.  According to Maori mythology Tane is the son of Ranginui the sky father and Papatuanuku the earth mother. Tane was the child that tore his parent’s parental embrace and once done set about clothing his mother in the forest we have here today. All living creatures of the forest are regarded as Tane’s children. We need to know this story. We need to be reminded of a dimension of life that is greater than ourselves. We need to understand the importance of what we do now and the impact it has in the future.

I’ve just read a moving post written by in21 who beautifully  describes the impact of her father’s concern for the future.

Quote: … he told me his goal was to plant a tree at every house he ever lived that would outlast his time in that place.  He had a notion of leaving behind a living legacy. I have re-visited the houses where I grew up and there are beautiful trees in each lawn – a 40+ year old red maple in one place, evergreens and a gorgeous crabapple at the other.  His most recent home has had its challenges with pear trees that break apart.  But he is still working on leaving his legacy behind, even as he enters his late 70’s. I had to tell him that his legacy would continue through my efforts and I fully expect through the efforts of my children. 

A flick through my posts and I see I’ve mentioned planting trees in relation to feeding the birds, shady spot for sitting under, remembering births of grandkids, fruit, firewood, shelter, carbon sink and visual appeal. Trees give so much.

Author: Jenny

My garden is where I lose myself, or as Himself likes to tell others, I lose either my coffee mug or wine glass. Well at least I put them on a gatepost so they are easily found. As I see it, we are here on this place to respect and to preserve nature, not to develop the land. I love how the totara trees stand in silent witness to our human activity. They keep me honest. I love to wander along the stream bank. I like being able to grow fruit and vegetables. I enjoy green open space. My son challenged me to write a blog using my garden diaries to start. Writing a blog is quite different to my diary scribblings. It is for a different audience. In every post, I have to make a conscious effort to get free of an academic style of writing. I write about things I know and do in my everyday life. I am not a photographer but the images I use are taken by me. I believe this adds veracity to my voice in each post. Learning to setup and to manage a blog has been a major effort and remains a work in progress. Who knows where this will lead. Himself and I thought we had retired, about to define this older phase of our life together. But family commitments continue. As it happens, I share this place with Himself, son and grandsons and living creatures who live charmed existences. I watch on as they serve as actors weaving their ways across the stage of daily life. Shakespeare wrote in As You Like It: All the world’s a stage, And all the men and women merely players; They have their exits and their entrances; Always, there's something to write about life lived as I know it.

2 thoughts on “My Garden ~ living legacies from our parents

  1. Very nice blog! Enjoyed reading it!

  2. Jenny – Thanks for the continued conversation on trees and once more for the wonderful insight into another culture. I know I have focused mostly on flowers during my years as a gardener and the trees were sort of somehow second-best – not as showy, not as instantly gratifying. Yet, the trees will be here long after the flowers have come and gone, and will survive conditions that no perennial would even consider trying to live through. They are truly magnificent creations.

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