The Tree House

Signs of spring are already burgeoning…

Lords and Ladies (Cuckoo Pint) - January 2013

Lords and Ladies (Cuckoo Pint) – January 2013

…and it’s quite a while now since this “dragon-tree” filtered the fire of the sun through branch and shadow, to melt the snowman….

"Dragon Tree" Jan. 2013

…which had become its companion, very briefly, during this most recent and unfolding phase of its long life:

"Dragon-Tree" dates

Nearby, new buds are reaching out to the light…

Buds - Jan 2013

And over the past few weeks, I’ve been so inspired by a fantastic new venture which, very appropriately for this time of year, has also been coming into bud…

The Tree House is a proposed new community bookshop which, as I write this, is unfurling ever more towards bursting into leaf. Victoria (aka Evie) – the inspiring force behind the project – is an online friend (and fellow bookish tree hugger) from the earliest days of my first venturing onto the internet.

To explain the project a bit before you head over there to take a look for yourself, I can do no better than quote Victoria’s own impassioned words:

‘Books are not just a means of passing the time, they are lifechanging experiences – the good ones, anyway! They tell us more about what it is to be human, they feed our inner lives and our imaginations (another aspect of humanity that often seems a little underrated!), and make us more creative in our engagement with the world.

The tree is therefore a wonderful image for me of the heart of a reading community – deeply rooted, creating a sheltering and nurturing space, pushing us out into a richer existence as individuals and as a community. Reading can do this! And coming together around books and literary adventures is like planting a forest.

The government wants to sell off our forests. Our libraries are under threat. I see these two things as related – the very things that give life to our planet and our community are seen as superfluous when what is needed, supposedly, is to generate more wealth and get rid of spaces that do not do this. We need trees; we need a sense of community. We can all sit in our homes ordering books over the internet, or downloading them to our Kindles and Kobos and iPads, or we can protect our libraries and bookshops and share this fabulous experience of enjoying books and learning from each other.’

– From The Tree House blog

Please do take a visit over to The Tree House site; there are inspiring posts about the project and about books and reading; fabulous links to some amazing bibliophile-heaven bookshops – all of which sprang from the same soil of passionate motivation that Victoria is now cultivating – and there are also trees!

The Domesday Oak (thought to be 700 years old) Ashton Court Estate, Bristol

The Domesday Oak (thought to be 700 years old) Ashton Court Estate, Bristol

It’s a fabulous project, growing in all the right directions – and with a vision that is exactly the sort of seed our society needs to plant and nurture. It’s like the old saying goes… ‘mighty oaks from tiny acorns grow…’ – a cliche phrase maybe… but, like most cliches, loaded with truth!

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4 thoughts on “The Tree House

  1. Thanks for the link… What a perfectly wonderful name for the project… Conjures up so many associations. And I love your picture of the bud coming out of the side of the tree. So tiny, so alive, so beautiful. Amanda x

    • It’s a great name, isn’t it – Victoria has chosen well! Really glad you like the picture of the bud, Amanda. The trees here are all simmering in readiness – their buds so full of the promise of this time of year. It’s wonderful to see the hazel catkins decorating the woods and roadsides with beautiful splashes of yellow…

      Melanie x

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