Thoughts on Trees and the Turning of Time

Lately I have been thinking a lot about trees.

Many of the designs I have been working on are based around leaves and trees and as I’ve been out walking and collecting what leaves I can find at this time of year, I’ve been looking intently at the skeletal trees silhouetted against the sky and thinking that they will soon be bursting back into life again.

Trees are powerful symbols; look back at mythologies from around the world and you can find trees everywhere. They are strong, powerful, markers of time and the turning of seasons. They embody the power of nature in its creative and ever changing glory.

I’ve been working on pieces around the theme of the tree of life, most familiar to me from the pages of the bible and the story of creation, but also appearing in many stories from outside of the Christian tradition. Someone then mentioned that one of my designs made them think of the Tree of Gondor from The Lord of the Rings and this set my mind off in a whole new direction.

Trees are immensely important in the works of Tolkien and are used to embody nature and the problems of mankind’s misuse of natural resources. Tolkien uses the destruction of trees to show evil and greed and the replanting of trees as a sign of restoration and healing.  I could go on for hours, but the main conclusion from my musings is that we have an obligation to protect nature and that we abuse it and its natural resources at our peril. Whether it is even possible to protect the natural world alongside mankind’s insatiable march of progress, I do not know and only time will tell.

Next time you see an impressive tree, take the time to really look at it – remember its longevity – it was probably there long before you ever arrived and hopefully will still be there a long time after you leave.


Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | 7 Comments

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7 thoughts on “Thoughts on Trees and the Turning of Time

  1. I completely agree, very nice article.

  2. That is just a beautiful blog post. I was just talking to a friend yesterday, regarding the symbolism Tolkien used in “The Lord of the Rings.” Not the trees but something else. What synchronicity to today read your delightful post on trees and the mention of Tolkien.

    Thanks for visiting. You might like my primary blog?

    ✿ღ✿ღ.¸¸ღ♫*¨`*•..¸ƸӜƷ ✿ღ ✫❀
    Peace & Love,

    • Thanks very much. I could have gone on for hours about symbolism in Tolkien’s works. I did some of my work for my degree on his use of landscape and it’s likes with his world view and theology so it was lovely to revisit old ground! I’ve had a look at your blog too – thanks, I’ll look forward to reading more.


      • Thanks Heather and same here. I look forward to getting to know you through your lovely blog~
        ✿ღ✿ღ.¸¸ღ♫*¨`*•..¸ƸӜƷ ✿ღ ✫❀

  3. I love this blog post! Both trees an Tolkien are so fascinating. The symbolism you talked about is really interesting! 🙂
    It’s so cool that you studied symbolism in Tolkien’s works. What degree was it for? I’d love to take time to just read and research about it. I’ve actually been planning to reread the Lord of the Rings when I have time.

    • Thank you for taking the time to read and your kind comments. My degree was in History and Combined Arts (I took as many combined arts modules as I was allowed! I think the topic was ‘The Symbolic Landscape’). I thoroughly recommend re-reading Lord of the Rings and having a look around at the many articles on the subject. How he was affected by his experiences in WW1, his faith and the rapidly changing era in which he lived all had an effect on his writings. It’s definitely worth it x

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