Carved into the Future

Beech Tree with Love Tatooes

Beech Tree with Love Tattoos

Close up of Love carvings

Close up of Love carvings

This beech tree stands on the edge of the woods which spill away from the parkland gardens of the old abbey. It has been here a long time. It’s roots reach down through the same rocks and soil which covered this patch of earth when Mary Queen of Scots was struggling for her throne. The sound of the River Esk has soothed this tree since it was a tiny fragile sapling just making its way in the world.

Here on the edge of the river and the woods thousands of young hands have carved their hopes of love into the bark of this tree. As the tree has grown their names and letters have stretched and cracked across the trunk, leaving its skin tattooed with promises of love, growing into the future. The wish is the growth of the tree will fuel their dreams of the future. A bit of Celtic tree magic right before our eyes. Some will be broken and some will hold, but what has been carved can’t be uncarved. Regardless, the tree continues to bear witness. I wonder how their stories are unfolding now.

You can see more Future Tense posts by following the link to the weekly photo challenge.

You can also see more posts with the theme of Time at Ailsas weekly photo challenge.

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About greenmackenzie

Hi, I'm Seonaid, and I share my home with my husband, my son and a collection of cats and dogs. I am forever snapping shots of things which catch my eye. I love art which is here now and gone tomorrow...like food and nature...but also have a passion for vintage and the ancient past! Nature is my favourite muse, with her wild ever shifting seasons. I have been using and teaching mindfulness and relaxation for over 12 years, and have yet to become any sort of expert :-) I'm a Psychotherapist, and run the Maggies Highlands Cancer Centre, in Inverness, Scotland.
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60 Responses to Carved into the Future

  1. Opalla says:

    Beautiful shots and they stretch the imagination about Future. πŸ™‚

  2. craftschen says:

    Human only has a limited lifetime, but full of infinite desire. maybe all the tragedy stems from here.

  3. ladyfi says:

    What magical tree shots.

  4. Angie says:

    This makes me do a trip down my own memory lane! Wonderful and heart warming post. πŸ™‚

  5. colonialist says:

    Love the way your posts range from beach to beech. Certainly, that tree ‘wood’ have witnessed much of interest. You also range from bark to bark, come to think of it …

  6. Hero says:

    What an unusual tree. So did you make any carvings for yourself?

    • No, my hands are too old and steeped in history for carving tree wishes….in the past though I carved into a rock which is similar…I will write a post about carving rock after my trip up North to Plockton this week πŸ™‚

  7. The colours in this photo are so intense and the subject matter so astounding. Such a history in this tree. I saw a tree like this in Singapore, ( very small ) and it was being killed by love – the messages left by lovers on its bark was in fact contributing to the death of the tree. But this tree appears so strong and powerful. Thanks so much for posting.

    • That’s sad about the tree in Singapore, killed by love 😦 So I guess this tradition is all across the world, which is interesting in itself, an ancient and universal impulse to leave our wishes in the hands of the trees πŸ™‚
      This tree is in no danger from its carvings, but you can see that lightening has stripped away some of its branches and bark…I wonder what portents that holds for the carvings lost to lightening ?

  8. icelandpenny says:

    Tattoos of love… a poignant and luminous concept, thanks for adding that dimension to the photography. Also, congratulations on your Freshly Pressed (I’m not sure how recent it is; I have just noticed it now.)

  9. Great image and lovely post! πŸ™‚

  10. Love the title “Carved into the Future”/ gr8 image

  11. Nice topic … nice image. The lighting on the one up front glows.

    • Thanks, I took this photo last Autumn with my iphone, and caught it just as the sun highlighted the tree for me. mother nature can be very helpful sometimes πŸ™‚

      • With your iPhone! Is that what you use for all of your images? Or just in this particular case? D

      • Just some of my older images πŸ™‚ I got a new camera for Christmas ( thank you Santa) and I’m practically inseparable from it now, so all my images since January are courtesy of canon and my developing skills with DSLR!

  12. Lynne Ayers says:

    A fabulous post! – well written and pertinent to the challenge.

    • Thanks Lynne, so glad you enjoyed reading it. I was scratching my head a little with this challenge, so searched back through my photo archives to find this…..it’s funny how one pst leads to the inspiration for the next…I’m now planning some shots of an old carving rock up in the highlands πŸ™‚

  13. It is interesting to think of ourselves through the framework of trees that come before us and are alive long after we are gone.

  14. Trees are living souls. This is a beautiful post. i saw in your comments that someone already had told you about the Swedish word “bok” – so I will not tell you again…but I love the thought of it, because that’s what they are.

  15. What an impressive tree. Our beeches almost never get that big, they are virtually all sick and die premature. I like seeing this old timer.

  16. fojap says:

    Funny, I put up a post with some photos of a beech tree. Ours is not nearly as old and only has about four names carved into it, but I did put up a photo of one.

  17. Pingback: 3-24-13(Really 3-23-13) {Travel Theme: Time #2} [Weekly Photo Challenge: Future Tense] | The Quotidian Hudson

  18. Pingback: 3-24-13(Really 3-23-13) {Travel Theme: Time #2} [Weekly Photo Challenge: Future Tense] | The Quotidian Hudson

  19. What a creative interpretation of the Photo Challenge theme. You have some great old trees surrounding you where you live!

  20. mithriluna says:

    What a lovely post. That’s quite a tree.

  21. Talkerhuge says:

    wonderful… really, majestic! thanks for the share πŸ˜‰

  22. beautiful πŸ™‚ reminds me of a church wall rhat’s been graffitti’d, tho your picture s more powerful

  23. the swedish name for beech is bok…which is a homonym, and also means book.

    many pages in this one.

    • Janna, this set off some memories for me….I had forgotten that beech is linked strongly to words and books. The English word Beech stems from the old Anglo Saxon, boec…..which also literally means book. Dont you just love how old languages hold wisdom like this! This then got me curious….apparently thin slices of beech wood were bound into some of the earliest known books in Europe. I love re-finding this ancient link between beech trees and words …..thanks for kindling the remembering πŸ™‚

      • marvellous! anglo-saxon has quite a few common roots with old norse, i think. πŸ™‚ there are many words in the english language that come from the old norse to begin with, for example window. it comes from vindΓΆga, which means wind-eye. i’ve always thought that was a fantastic word, too.

      • I love this Janna, I will look at windows in a whole new light now….and given the drafts which whistle through my old sash and cord wooden windows, wind-eye is a perfect description πŸ™‚ Here in Scotland we have lots of Norse roots in our place names and words…I find it all fascinating and thanks for enlightening me in windows and books …and that’s just today πŸ™‚

  24. Sas says:

    We usually cut trees open to tell us about the past – it’s interesting to see a tree that holds so much future promise πŸ™‚

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