Ted Seagreave compares our capacity for strength in the face of adversity with the ability of trees to draw on hidden depths through tough conditions, but warns that we also need wisdom and vision, in order to preserve the Earth for future generations.
The Heart of England Forest
Whether we wilt or thrive in Life
is dependent most of all on Fate;
that Nature versus Nurture tired debate:
the happenstance of
when and where and parentage at birth.
Yet survival, it seems, when beset by trials
lies not with programmed genes
to defy or else succumb
to those who’d do us down,
but in one’s strength of Will
and stored resources.
Likewise each tree,
though it has no ‘get up and go’,
draws on hidden depths
of mineral wealth, as well as light and rain,
when faced with storm and blight and drought.
It takes a wise, determined brain
to visualise, as Evelyn did in his ‘Discourses’,
a landscape fit for future generations,
or else a Nation brought to book
for its rout of Sylvan heritage
through ignorance and lack of foresight.