This week we leaned on the wrong stump. This is a very large stump from a tree felled in the original clear-up of the St. Peter’s Community Garden site – in 2008 before St. Peter’s Community Garden was a garden at all – long before this team leader had even thought about being a gardener. As we leaned the stump began to disintegrate and as we pulled, it became apparent its heart had rotted out and we pulled and we pulled until heaps of soft fibrous wood lay on our rockery.
In the stump of the old tree, where the heart has rotted out, there is a hole the length of a man’s arm, and a dank pool at the bottom of it where the rain gathers, and the old leaves turn into lacy skeletons. But do not put your hand down to see, because
From In the Stump of the Old tree by Hugh Sykes Davies (read the poem in its entirety here: https://www.poemhunter.com/poem/poem-in-the-stump-of-the-old-tree/)
Our stump isn’t quite as sinister as Hugh Sykes Davies’s. Hands did go in and came back out again unscathed! Instead our stump seems to be telling us something. Over the last few months we’ve watched our community hall dismantled and a new one built in its place. Our new hall will have more storage for our equipment and a good sized room for us to have breaks, work when the weather is bad, and use as a teaching centre. Like our disintegrating stump the removal of the old hall has been the end of an era but the new era comes with so much promise.
All is not lost – we’ve been left with a partial stump with new architecture and with that has come new plans. There’s now space to plant things inside, and the wildlife doesn’t mind despite our stump’s new shape.