Looking after our mother

In a strenuous but joyful gesture of renewal over the Easter break, we got there in the end and planted the 239 trees provided by the ‘Trees for Travel’ scheme.


It is now raining steadily, as requested, to give them the best possible start in their new life!
A return trip to San Francisco from Wellington requires 43 trees planted to offset the carbon released into the atmosphere. This simple but effective scheme gives us hope….

It is to do with trees:
being         amongst trees.

It is to do with tree-ferns:
mamaku, ponga, wheki.
Shelter under here
is so easily

You can see that trees
know how it is
to be bound
into the earth
and how it is to rise defiantly
into the sky.

It is to do with death:
the great slip in the valley:
when there is nothing left
but to postpone all travel
and wait
in the low gut of the gully
for water, wind and seeds.

It is to do with waiting.
Shall we wait with trees,
shall we wait with,
for, and under trees
since of all creatures
they know the most
about waiting, and waiting
and slowly strengthening,
is the great thing
in grief, we can do?

It is always bleak
at the beginning
but trees are calm
about nothing
which they believe
will give rise to something
flickering and swaying
as they are: so lucid
is their knowledge of green.

from The Nature of Things, poems from the New Zealand landscap

7 thoughts on “Looking after our mother

  1. Great work Ian! The earth thanks you :-). Day 4 of our campaign and we are gaining momentum. The weather has been kind which has helped. Will share more soon. Have a nice day, Deborah


      1. We have allowed for some “flexibility” given New Zealand’s climate – so today for instance we planted 9 trees while the weather is good (it’s been a mild April). So, technically this covers us for the next 9 days – in saying that we are hoping to stay as true to the plan as possible. It’s more than that though it’s about generating/inciting others to plant trees too. It’s interesting the more you discuss it, the more stories you hear from around the globe about similar concepts and “off-the-grid” living so it is really encouraging.


      2. that sounds really great! I’ve found that to be the case too – its very heartening. We have over 20 community eco groups just here on the south coast of Wellington. Good luck with the plan and I look forward to seeing the progress!

        Liked by 1 person

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