The hedges around here are pierced with Hawthorn trees bent towards the north east in the prevailing south westerlies. I love these trees, they are like the wind made solid, Today was the first time I tried to sketch one in any detail and though it’s not a great drawing it was a very interesting exercise.
Up close there is nothing smooth or elegant about the Hawthorn. Every branch, every twig, every bud has an angular, tortured aspect to it as if every millimeter of life is ferociously fought for and all growth is pain.
Amazingly then, despite this agony of expansion, life branches out in every direction. There are so many shoots it’s as if the tree is sending out as many emissaries as possible into a hostile world in the hope that some, at least, will reach some unknown destination, a place where they will arrive exhausted to demand reinforcements in the battle of life, the battle against the wind.
All these thoughts ran through my head as I drew this map of struggle that this tree was scratching on the sky when it finally occurred to me that, after all the fighting, all the anguish, still the tree had no choice but to bend to the elements. As I sketched, I could not help feeling that there is a lesson in there somewhere for me.