Saturday, February 24, 2007

Treebeard and the Bonsai: An Organic Parable

So it was that two trees grew in the garden. Treebeard was tall and majestic, with thick buttress roots that reached deep into the ground, drawing moisture from the rain that fell around him. Bonsai was petite and lived within four walls, his plumage trimmed by a dutiful caretaker who also watered him daily.

On sunny days, Treebeard would lull himself into a reverie, listening to the hum of picnickers seeking shelter in his gentle arms. On special occasions, he would shimmy in the breeze, scattering his leaves like a bird shedding feathers, delighting his friends below.

And so it was that one day, a leaf found its way to Bonsai's manicured lawn. Bonsai, sniffing his nose in alarm, wondered what on earth could produce such a cumbersome thing.

Just then, the sun-browned gardener, stopped in front of his abode and, with a low tsk-tsk and a quick flick of the fingers, removed the alien leaf.

"Ah, all my years of hard work and you've kept your shape, my little one. Were it not for me, who knows what sort of giant you'd have grown up to be?" the caretaker said.

Bonsai looked up in awe as the realisation dawned on him. Just then, a group of admiring visitors arrived, and Bonsai steadied himself to look calm for the flashing bulbs. He realised he was happy in his little world with his beloved caretaker. "I may not be the largest tree in the garden, and though sometimes it does get just the tiniest bit squeezy within these walls, it's not too bad. The food is good, and it does get rather entertaining with all these visitors."

At the south end of the garden, Treebeard nodded and looked on, presiding over the garden and the frantic city beyond it.



OK, so don't ask me what that was all about. All I know is I went to the Botanic Gardens this morning for a walk with my friend Dean saw the new bonsai garden and started squealing, and knew that I wanted to write something about erm, diminutive trees.

Simulataneously, husband D was on a big run around our estate with his friend also named Dean (how weird is that!)

So walking trip with Dean1 comprised lots of stops to take photos of various plant life with a brunch at Beviamo after. While D's running trip with Dean2 involved calf stretches and carbo gels. Hmmm...

Besides bonsai and giant trees, we also saw a gazebo that would have fit right into an "Age of Innocence" type tableau with ladies, parasols and short gloves. There's Dean thinking wistfully about his Dangerous Liaisons aspirations. Oh to have been birthed in a time of wigs and powder and not t-shirts and Birkenstocks!

We also went beyond the waterfall, and like a page from "The Far Horizons" we glimpsed our own Shangri-La... (err, for those of you living in Singapore, you'll know what I mean...)

But what a great start to the weekend, an early morning walk with a friend, talking about nothing and everything, and ending off with Beviamo's always-reliable ciabatta with tuna and roast zucchini.

Oh and not forgetting a discourse about the history of the Middle East, leading up to the present-day. A sombre note to end off on, but one befitting the current mode of the day, when in-between American Idol, I can switch channels to find out about the latest toll in Iraq from starting-to-sound-identical bomb blasts, then just as easily, switch back after the 3-minute ad break to people chasing the American dream.

Maybe some problems of the world would be solved if we each of us could find our own bonsai to tend to.


David said...

I like this blog for tree reasons.

Anonymous said...

When I was young and the air was clear, I would go to the park to feed the squirrels. I would bring a packet of mixed nuts and scatter a bit at a time around the bench where I sat. At first, the squirrels would be shy and hesitant. But as they grew accustomed to my presence, a few of the bolder ones would venture closer and accept my offerings. I would speak to them but their replies were rare. I believe that they harbored a great secret that could not be shared. As time passed and I discovered new distractions, I stopped going to the park. All I really remember now is how nice it was to have squirrels nibbling on my nuts.