when giants fall


The cool afternoon lured J and I to the Macritchie Nature Reserve for a short run. The speedier J was way ahead of me, but we both had observed a beautiful spot along the trail and slowed to meet.

A large tree, its trunk looking like a meter and a half wide in diameter, had fallen. Perhaps it was  the rainy month of December that had weakened and uprooted the tree. As a result, a space to the sky had opened up in the forest canopy, letting in a generous circle of light. In the forest, it is difficult to miss a variation like this. The light is soft but distinct in the forest shade.

I have been reading about the nature reserves in Singapore for an ampulets art book project (look out for it!!), and remembered reading that this is not quite uncommon.

A mature tree, often overladen by creepers and ferns, will sometimes fall. We may bemoan the fall of what seemed like a sturdy, aged giant. Yet when it falls, it opens up space in the forest and lets in precious light that spurs the growth of the understorey, medium-sized trees. New life succeeds.

Nature has its way of enduring. So do we, though not always as graciously, generously, affirming. Both, nonetheless, by the grace and design of the creator.


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