The Ruricolist is now available in print.

Holly tree

Spare a moment to consider this apropos holly tree. This is not a young tree, nor a low branch of a great tree; this is the crown of a fallen tree. Last year the weight of snow levered its roots out of the ground and dropped it onto its side branches and the bramble of ligustrum beneath. I had more urgent damage to clear and let it lie, thinking I would return to it when it was dead and soft. But not all its roots were broken. It still circulates; it still lives. Indeed by now all its roots have found their way back into the ground. It can never be as it was; a landscaper would have it removed as a blemish; but I feel sympathy for it. I am willing to give it time to make its adaptations, and to count its prostration as a point of its appeal. It is now more than a tree; it is a tree with a story, as I have told.