My home county is in East Anglia. When I walk in the woods around me, there are places where I can believe I have entered Tolkien’s world. 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 rigours of ageing can affect so many aspects of our lives. Even the imagination is at risk – but only 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 we can keep it safe from all the corrosive events in our lives. If we succeed, we can maintain the potential and boost even, the colour in our lives. The key to success is to remain open to all sorts of influences. As a friend of mine so eloquently put it “beware the curmudgeon within” 🙂
So what brings this on? Of all things, 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. It may have been written by Peter Jackson’s scriptwriters, I am sure many would approve of the sentiment. As to this tree, it 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 the countryside.
One Chestnut tree does not, I know, fully encompass Tolkien’s world or make either Mirkwood or Fangorn. In Suffolk, trees are not as commonly found as they in other places in the UK It does, however, remind 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 if I am seeing a small part of Tolkien’s world.
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?