Only followers of Tolkien would know Fangorn. So I wonder how many of us that have read Tolkien, have had their lives at least in some small manner, altered by the experience? Some may argue it is folly to suggest that a work of fiction could (or should) have such an effect.
Not I though.
The imagination is one of the few human characteristics that can be free of the rigours of ageing – if we allow it 🙂 Life in the ‘real’ world is often a matter of dealing with all sorts events that cause physical and mental wear and tear.. The imagination too, can suffer but keeping it safe from all the corrosive events in our lives can maintain a potential to maintain and boost even, the colour in our lives. We do, however, have to allow it to remain open to all sorts of influences – including, therefore, what we read.
So what brings this on? A tree… a gnarled old tree.
“For all Hobbits share a love for things that grow” – I don’t know if this line was written by the great man himself but even if it was written by Peter Jackson’s script writers, I am sure Tolkien would approve of the sentiment. This lovely old specimen has been through the wars a bit.. Now I come to think of it, this is probably true in the literal sense as well as figuratively. Nature has seen fit to take its top; whether by wind or lightning, I don’t know but in the years we have walked by, we have seen it in all seasons.. something reassuringly constant in countryside.
One Chestnut tree does not, I know, make either Mirkwood or Fangorn.. In Suffolk, trees are not as commonly found as they in other places and reminds me of a passage in the Two Towers (I think) where Treebeard speaks of the Ents walking far and wide to find the long lost Entwives.. So I see this tree and the imagination starts to wonder…
So, what of you? If you are out and about for a walk, do you pass a solitary tree and does your imagination tell you a tale?