Today I'm posting a poem - not because I think it is particularly brilliant, but because of what it represents in the journey of my life.
My blog is a testament to a glorious childhood. Many aspects of it I could continue enjoying as an adult - an ever growing paper doll collection and my passion for fairytale illustrations.
But some pastimes were - by their nature - finite. Tree climbing was one of these.
I've always had a great affinity with trees. When I was a child I would climb every tree I saw, no matter where it was. The moment my mother turned her back I was already scampering up to the topmost branches.
Most of all I loved to sit above the canopy, watching the birds as they wheeled and soared across the vast blue African sky.
Every day when I returned home from school I would take our two Labradors for a walk in a green-belt near our house. In it there grew a particularly magnificent tree that I would climb while the dogs gambolled below.
When I turned 12 realisation dawned that my tree-climbing days were almost over. Childhood was passing me by and I experienced an acute sense of sadness and loss.
What amazes me today is the level of self-awareness I experienced, responding to the passing of time in such a conscious way.
My reaction was to write this poem.
Bear in mind when you read it that this is the work of a 12 year old. As such I have never tried to change or improve on it.
It is instead a window to the past and a particular moment in time.
My Beautiful Tree
My beautiful tree your leaves are now new
The summer has given you a fresh outfit too.
My beautiful tree you shimmer like gold
And in the sun's rays you never look cold.
My beautiful tree you are so tall
Standing beside you I feel tiny and small.
My beautiful tree you are so old
And when the world started it was probably foretold
That you would be here especially for me -
A beautiful tree no one else would see.
But my beautiful tree I'm no longer a child
I no longer can shout or run so wild.
No longer can sit on your wide, strong branches
Now only can give you occasional glances
As I walk past you
In your outfit so new.
My beautiful tree we all have to grow older
And the child in me is now growing colder
Until at last she is dead and gone
And a new grown up person will have to live on.
Then my beautiful tree when at last I am gone
I am most certain that you will stay on.
So remember me as that little child
Who gazed up at your leafy branches -
Sharon Munro - aged 12 (1971)
In 2009 when we last visited S. Africa I asked my husband to drive past the green-belt. As far as I could tell the tree is still there. Unfortunately I did not think to stop and take a photograph. All the pictures in this post were taken last week at Trinity College, Dublin and St Stephen's Green.