Time is wrapped in moss, bud, lichen.
Gnarled bark holds secrets of years
for a wild tree never tells, its age
cannot be counted in numbers.
Is age the great achievement,
when a birch’s one short century
outdoes an oak’s long five?
Count instead the marvel of trees
in the song of wind and birds
the stretch of roots and leaves
light gifted to air,
slow circling of time
in twist of trunk and branch,
our spirits lifted in their dance.
Harriet wrote this poem following a conversation with National Trust forestry adviser Stuart Palmer, which she writes about in the blog post Does Age Matter?