When the area around St George’s churchyard gardens was developed, this boundary tree found itself on a demarkation line. Thus it now exists cut off on all sides, 6 foot deep in shady isolation like the emparadadas or walled-in anchorites of old. Such voluntary immurement served as much to keep worldly temptations out as spirituality in. Somewhat extreme from a modern perspective but at this time of Lent (another 33 days to go), those of us with weak or weakening will-power can perhaps understand the motive. Personally I’m struggling a little with the dietary sanctions but enjoying liberation from too much computer time.
Despite the rigours of its partial imprisonment, the tree (I guess a cherry from the bark) seems undaunted, a picture of health and vigour:
And all shall be well and
All manner of thing shall be well
By the purification of the motive
In the ground of our beseeching.
T.S.Eliot – Little Gidding