Thanks to my wife Sue’s reading interests, I was alerted to an article in a United Kingdom newspaper about Judi Dench.
In the article, Judi Dench talks about her love of trees. Over three decades she has transformed her garden into a woodland. She started planting trees to remember a relative or friend. Her fascination with trees led her to spend time at Kew Gardens learning about the annual life cycle of trees … “and how they communicate via vast underground networks”.
In the article, Judi is quoted:
Beneath our feet is a huge network. Not only can they send messages but they can share food and water …
Her story resonates strongly with me. I was fortunate to spend a year as a forestry worker in 1973-1974. This gave me a love of trees and connected me with the rhythms of a year in woodlands. Many years later, when we moved to Mongarlowe in New South Wales, we started to plant trees to remember family and friends.
News of Judi’s love of trees came as I was waiting for the next installment of a Friday Letter from Abbotstown.
The letter is, I believe, a good example of connecting roots and branches in a community of practice. Like the trees planted in Mongarlowe, these are tentative steps to establish an ecology of sharing.
This ecology is nourished by sharing openly as well as in hidden ways of personal connectedness. I have in mind this kind of connections for groups that might share:
This looks like a tree in winter but is taken from page 372 of A manual of practical medical electricity : the Röntgen rays and Finsen light (1902). The image combines two discoveries that became important contributions to medicine. Wilhelm Röntgen won the first Nobel prize for Physics in 1901. Niels Finsen was from the Faroe Isles and won the Nobel prize for Medicine and Physiology.
I do think that open sharing makes possible not only the sharing of familiar practice but also creates opportunities for creative leaps of the imagination.