…the tree: in five parts (5)

41. Part 5 Growth of the whole ‘Most trees have spurts of growth to coincide with favourable climatic conditions. Typically, growth will stop when the weather becomes too cold or dry and the tree will enter an inactive period.  During this time, buds are formed to protect the tree’s internal tissues, and once favourable conditionsContinue reading “…the tree: in five parts (5)”

…the tree: in five parts (4)

40. Part 4 Sugar spirit ‘The staple of the tree diet is sugar, which is generated through photosynthesis.  Chlorophyll in the leaves absorbs the energy from sunlight, which is focused on the water molecules sucked in by the tree’s roots – splitting them into their component hydrogen and oxygen atoms. The hydrogen is combined withContinue reading “…the tree: in five parts (4)”

…the tree: in five parts (2)

38. Part 2 Roots of the mind ‘…trees utilise roots to extract water and nutrients from the surrounding area, as well as to anchor themselves in the ground. While most water is absorbed by the roots nearest the surface, some trees extend a ‘taproot’ deep into the soil.  Roots can also play a part inContinue reading “…the tree: in five parts (2)”

…the tree: in five parts (1)

37. 1. Bark of the body ‘One of the key characteristics of a tree is the woody bark surrounding the trunk and branches. However, only the outer layers of this are alive, with a vascular system of cells called the cambium being responsible for the production of new bark.  The inner layer of bark, knownContinue reading “…the tree: in five parts (1)”

…new shoots

32.rhizome [rahy-zohm] noun • botanyA rootlike subterranean stem, growing horizontally along or under the ground and producing roots and leaves — Such as bamboo, water lilies, lotus, ginger, turmeric. — Turmeric is a member of the ginger family and both have medicinal qualities, turmeric soothing inflammation and anxiety, ginger a balm for the stomach. WhenContinue reading “…new shoots”

…the dive

31.— Your father taught you to dive at an early age, first sitting you at the edge of the pool, arms pointing like a giant beak, encouraging you to tip gently into the water. You don’t remember the transition from sitting to standing but at some point, when the fear had gone, you would haveContinue reading “…the dive”

…the green of swimming

30.You slip into the water from the smooth slate shore, the slanted rock sometimes sharp sometimes smooth beneath your palms as you edge your way deeper. You are in a small cove, the opening white with surf but here the water is glass still and cold enough to make you gasp once, twice, three times,Continue reading “…the green of swimming”

…teaching in the age of Covid

25.You return to teaching after many months away. But this is not teaching as you know it, sitting around a table with your students to debate, discuss and enquire. Instead you are in your living room, meeting your students on a laptop screen. This is teaching in the age of Covid, and this is whatContinue reading “…teaching in the age of Covid”

…after bed

19.When Joan Didion writes about her migraines in her essay, In Bed, she reveals that doctors believe there is a ‘migraine personality’, which includes being inwardly-focused, ambitious, rigidly organised and a perfectionist. You pause to reread this list, noting that you probably tick all of these boxes. You have suffered with migraines for as longContinue reading “…after bed”

…case studies

17.— In 1997 Janis Schonfeld, a Californian interior designer, volunteered for an antidepressant drug trial. She had suffered with clinical depression for many years and was desperate for a cure. She took the drug for eight weeks and felt significant improvement, although she did suffer with nausea, the side-effect of the drug. The EEG recordingsContinue reading “…case studies”