Tuesday, May 4, 2010 at 8:21PM
I was invited to take part in a tree appreciation event Hampstead last week on Earth Day. I was told to meet with all the other appreciators of trees and nature at the Lilly Pond in Hampstead Heath at 12.00 pm. Arriving there a few minutes late I nervously dragged my heavy holdall up hill and down dale till I found the Lilly Pond (which has no lillies incidentally). Neither did it sport any members of the Earth Day revellers. I waited an hour. Then another. Then became convinced I must have had the wrong day so prepared to depart for the 2 hour long journey back home to Essex.
On the way out of the beautiful park which is perched high above the smoky grey metropolis of London's 12 millions I wondered how as it possible that no-one among their number had come to celebrate/support our beautiful friends the trees. I thought it a shame that I had taken so much time and effort to come here and that I was returning empty handed and hearted without singing a word in praise or in love for our brothers and sisters enclosed within wooded bodies, so I found a quiet area away from the tourists and footballing students on the slopes and unpacked my trusty accordion and newly purchased video camera to do my service amidst a wooded glade.
They, the tree huggers that is, were going to do some toning around the trees and in general express their gratitude for their selfless contributions our arboreal brethren make to the quality of life. I however had a slightly different agenda and that was inspired by Haridas Thakura's talks with Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu wherin it was disclosed that that the souls within trees could not only be thanked for their contribution to life but also be liberated by the loud chanting of Krsna's, Gods, Holy Names. That indeed the echo that comes from any inanimate entity when one chants is considered by the Lord Himself as their full and satisfactory contribution to the Sankirtan movementy and readily accepted by the Lord as such. So I thought on earth day at least I could chant for the trees as best as I could and so you see me here one- man banding my way through the Maha Mantra, happy to at least do something before I beat my retreat back to good ole Essex.
When there is a small kerfuffle and you might hear some rustling, it was when I fell over on some chopped wooden pieces which the trees kept hidden under some of last seasons browned leaves. They have to get a laugh whenever they can as a trees lot is not such a happy one, having to tolerate so many testing situations. Four hours later, after dragging my suitcase full of musical goodies over the testing hills of the woodland park I finally found my absent tree hugging compatriots who had just whimsically changed the rendezvous site to the Viaduct Pond and who were basically laying around on a hillock shooting the breeze.
Underwhelmed by their lack of compassion for my 6 hour plight and singularly unimpressed by their body language as the majority of them turned their backs toward me to delve into esoteric matters obviously beyond an Essex boy's measure, I humbly took their leave swearing to myself that this would be my last foray into the world of organised time wasters.
I did get on well with the trees though and here's the proof