Ah! The Ash Grove, the Ash Grove of Buckden
The ash grove is gone, but then it wasn’t really a grove, but three handsome trees planted alongside the entrance drive to the grounds of Buckden Towers, and together they thrived for 80 years until they were stricken with disease and had to be cut down.
We are blessed with some lovely trees at the Towers, some are notable species, many are very old, dating back several hundred years, a few quite young. As one writer has said “I think that I shall never see a poem lovely as a tree” and then goes on to enjoy the idea that the tree “may in summer bear a nest of robins in her hair”.
Our trees around the grounds thrive as did the ash trees, but like them some have been lost to us, by age, disease or storm and we have seen the signs of this over the years, as now with the loss of the ash trees, the scene is changed. We regret their going, and constantly see the gap they leave in the scene. We may take steps to replace them, but the saplings which we may plant there will hardly begin to replace the full-grown trees for many years – we plant for those who follow, not for ourselves.
We all have relatives, friends and neighbours that we may see on every hand, who are an important part of our lives and to a far greater extent than the loveliest trees.
We need them at every turn in our lives, at each stroke of fortune or misfortune but, like the trees, they and we, will both thrive and suffer and fall to illness, age or disaster.
Again our lives are changed, and we will often recall those lost and what they meant to us and also to others, but these cannot be replaced and we must find new, if different friends and neighbours and move on. These loved ones follow those before and renew the scene for us, but they are for the future, they are ours – and for others – for the future.
Editor-in-chief of “Ouse Views”