Wednesday, 4 March 2015

The Ordination of Trees

photo by Geraldine Green

The Ordination of Trees: Since the Write in the Forest creative writing workshop in Grizedale Forest last Saturday (28th Feb) I've been busy doing this and that - collating poems and prose for the Living Words anthology, helping to organise and shape the Festival of Words and Music at Swarthmoor Hall - all good stuff! All the while I've caught myself reflecting on the ordination of trees, photos of which were on display in Grizedale Forest. 

photo of two of the writing group, taken by Geraldine Green (permission given to use photo)

We (the 'write in the forest' group) walked to Luke Duggleby's poignant photographic exhibition and saw, set in Forestry Commission woodland in Cumbria, the passion and dedication of Thai Buddhist monks and villagers in The Aereng Valley, Cambodia. Why were they carrying long swathes of saffron-coloured cloth through the Cardamom Forest? To ordinate the trees, to protect them from loggers. The idea of ordinating trees has been with me since then... how would we ordinate trees? What colour cloth? How would we honour the trees? What is the meaning of the colour saffron?

Tree Meditation
I was pondering on our next forest workshop, planning things to do... something I've been calling to myself 'tree meditation' is one thing I'll ask the group to do. Choose a tree to sit against, reflect and attune the senses. Listening, quieting the breath, letting thoughts drift in and out like birds... just allowing ourselves to be...

photo of Thai Monks by Luke Duggleby; photo of Luke Duggleby's photo in Grizedale Forest by Geraldine Green
I had no idea about forest monks, until just now, when I was researching the meaning of the colour saffron:
Dates for the next Write in the Forest Workshops:
Saturdays: June 6th, September 5th, November 7th
11am-3pm £25 incl refreshments, please bring own lunch

with thanks to Grizedale Forest and the Forestry Commission for the use of The Yan and also for the work they do.

Venue: The Yan, Grizedale Forest

info on Luke Duggleby's exhibition:
The photo exhibition by Luke Duggleby in Grizedale Forest ended on Sunday March 1st.

For booking: please email: geraldinegreen[dot]poetry1[at]gmail[dot]com