These emails are sent out every new moon as a day to particularly remember our beautiful planet in prayer, meditation, awareness or involvement, with love, hope and gratitude. If you would like to be on the mailing list then please Contact Jane.

29th June 2022

Every day, a 40 foot tree takes in 50 gallons of dissolved nutrients from the soil, raises this mixture to its topmost leaves, converts it into 10 pounds of carbohydrates and releases about 60 cubic feet of pure oxygen into the air.

A British oak tree is home to about 2,300 organisms including grey squirrels, little owls, ladybirds, aphids, crab spiders, the winter moth caterpillar and the spotted carion beetle.  Of these 1 in 7 ie 326 species only live on oak trees, and a further 229 are highly associated with them.  This is the breakdown:

Briophytes 229 species, Lichens 716 species, Fungi 108 species, Invertebrates 1178 species, Birds 38 species and Mammals 31 species.  If we included micro-organisms there would be thousands.

The damage that all the different caterpillars cause by eating leaves can cut the amount of energy the tree can gather from the sun by half.  When the tree detects it is being eaten, it releases volatile chemical compounds which signal for reinforcements – the blue tits.  Each eat about 100 caterpillars a day.  

Despite their importance, only 13% of the UK’s land area has tree cover compared to an EU average of 38%, which makes us one of the lowest levels of tree cover in Europe. Ancient Woodland is particularly important, yet there’s just 2.4% land area left in the UK. However we do have more ancient oak trees than anywhere else in Europe.

The way of lingering

The garden is full of soft sunshine and dappled shadows, the scent of blossom, the hum of bees and the song of birds.  It is a gentle, beguiling world softened by the play of shadows which still hold a slight moisture from their night’s sleep.  The leaves of the trees shimmer in a dance with a quiet rustling as the breeze lifts them, then lets them go.  They offer their shape and greenness to the face of the sun in a harmony of belonging.  The air is warm in the sun like silk and you can feel it carrying the fullness of this day as particles of pollen and scent brush across your skin.  And it is a Sunday, our sabbath of time saved from the routines of busyness so we can linger in the delight of the day. Have we lost the way of lingering?  Can we still notice the small wonders around us and store them in our treasure-box?  What difference would it make to our busy lives if we took care to let each beauty amaze us and fill us before going on our way, if we stopped to smell the flowers fronting the gardens that we pass?  Do we feel this is our world, do we live in the mutuality of it and enjoy the offerings of bird and flower as gift given to please us?  And do we gift them back with a smile or a touch, knowing our pleasure is a blessing?  This is the place to learn to listen, to live without the carapace that often guards us, and to find that the beauty we can see in ant and leaf and bud is the beauty we can find in our soul.

30th May 2022

The complex web of relationships in our ecosystems where each organism affects the others has not been fully recognized until comparatively recently. One example of this is at Yellowstone Park. Yellowstone Park was made a national park in 1872 but that did not protect the wolves who were all killed by the 1920’s to protect the ‘more valuable’ species. They didn’t listen to the Scottish-American conservationist John Muir, the ‘Father of the National Parks’, who said “when we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else.”

30th April 2022

This is a time when so many of us are holding Ukraine in our hearts and thoughts. But it is also a time when, for us in the Northern hemisphere, the earth is pouring herself out in a profusion of life and leaves and joy. For me, this is a balance and a healing. We need the life and the joy to balance the huge amount of anger, fear and sorrow that are being released at the moment. And for those who are feeling weighed down by this, the natural world can be such a place of healing. Take a walk out where it is green. Breathe in the beauty of new life, and breathe out the pain. We are about to enter our summer months as Beltane or May Day is the next day, May 1st.

1st April 2022

I have been reading ‘Braiding Sweetgrass’ by Robin Wall Kimmerer which I do recommend. It blends scientific knowledge with indigenous wisdom particularly regarding plants. She quotes the Anishinaabe story of creation of the first man, Nanabozho. ‘As he continued exploring the land, Nanabozho was given a new responsibility: to learn the names of all the beings. He watched them carefully to see how they lived and spoke with them to learn what gifts they carried in order to discern their true names. Right away he began to feel more at home and was not lonely anymore when he could call the others by name and they called out to him when he passed, ‘Bozho!’ – still our greeting to one another today.’

2nd March 2022

We are now more aware of how beneficial it is for us to spend time in nature and particularly with trees, both for our mental and physical health. Trees of course give off oxygen. But the main cause of these health benefits are chemicals called phytoncides.