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Showing posts from September 19, 2021

Reflections on an oak tree

  If we go by the gospels, Jesus had unhappy encounters with trees. Not just the tree of Calvary, the wooden cross on which he was hung; there was also the fig tree that had no figs, which Jesus, like any hungry traveller, cursed. Later, the fig tree died, and the disciples, who were following the wonder-working rabbi, put down the casualty as another miracle. I don’t think Jesus thought it was a miracle, but he figured it was a good emblem to illustrate a sermon, and so he made it one. Why not? I have happier experiences with trees than Jesus, and I’m not talking about not having been nailed to a cross. Although I haven’t. Mine are more like those described in Marin Buber’s I – You: the tree is my other, my true you. I can contemplate a world without people and think that this would be very sad, at least for people. But when I imagine a world without trees, I am truly horrified – this would be a planetary injury, a real loss. Of course, I’m   wised up, taxonomy-wise, and know that