It’s been a journey. A century of blog-observations, and each typed into a laptop the other side of a window from a close friend. What a companion to have by one, to oversee things with absolutely no interference, yet with a quiet expression of a natural tolerance, every step of the way. There is an expectation in those leaves of life, more life; and in a rugged casing of trunk and branches, I feel as though in myself a strength that stands or falls. The elm I wrote of in the first entry is with me and of me at the end.

People are suddenly discovering things about trees. Their communication with one another for the common benefit is startling, but only in terms of our previous ignorance. Any species of plant or animal is not so much a linked collection of individuals as an individual with many brains. One day the ridiculous human race will find out more about this. For now we make do with platitudes. Meanwhile Nature shelters and sustains us; and if we indulge a closeness that is there to be felt in terms that express closeness to ourselves, that is not in itself inapt. If we have an imagination there has to be room for a little make-believe. So way back I wrote a poem of the tree and myself called The Brothers; and so I return to an ally now, at the end of a journey, to record a companionship.

It’s been a light road, a road of turnings, and of many views. I hope that anyone who travels it finds the occasional place to stop and rest for a moment, even if there are some to skip by. And there’s an elm in leaf for a companionable end.

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