On and off throughout the last few years I have made a series of Youtube videos I call ‘treelore‘ – basically a summarised narration of my research concerning the folklore surrounding a particular species of tree.
I usually try to keep them short, not including the more obscure or regional specific folklore of the trees – as this is Youtube – a place where people tend to expect short-and-sweet homemade videos – not hour long master documentaries… but the latest entry in this series, THE ASH, has actually turned out to be the longest, at close to six minutes. I guess I had a lot to say this time, and yet still found myself adding a disclaimer:
‘Remember… these videos only begin to delve into all the strange and unusual tales throughout folk history… If treelore interests you, there are many rewards to be had by seeking out books and websites for yourself… or visiting the trees and having a chat 🙂 ‘
For that is what I do.
I read through my books – looking up all the times that the tree is mentioned in the index… I look online at the various tree / druid and pagan based websites… and I write down the things written which interest me, spot those that are duplicated for authenticity and importance, and then rewrite it all into a form I feel will be pleasing to listen to. But just as importantly… I visit the tree.
There is a hill near to where I live… I can see the hill from the front windows of my house… and atop of that hill there is a tree which stands out a little from the rest… But, because the hill is steep and I have some physical disabilities, I have been dissuaded from making that journey. For two years I lived in this house, looking up to that place, thinking ‘one day I will go there and meet that tree’.
Eventually – I did it… and it was like a pilgrimage.
The tree turned out to be an ash… split and burnt inside… perhaps by lightning… but alive and standing alone looking over at the best view you can get of this village. And behind it there are other, smaller, ash trees… along with other species including oak, beech and hawthorn.
I’ve been up there twice now… enjoying the company of that tree and its brethren… taking in the view, shooting some film, and generally being alone with nature for a change… it’s a world apart from the humdrum modern comings and goings of the place below it…
I hope you enjoy the video, and perhaps you will be encouraged to look into this fascinating subject for yourselves.
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