In our SAVE ERCE podcast series, trees and nature are an important part of our story. The Brio interns, who come on Tuesdays from Nupath, have been learning about trees and decided to go to the Winchester Common to see what trees are growing there. They are learning how to identify trees. You need to look at the shape of the tree, its bark, the branch structure, its buds, the type and shape of the leaves, and more. We will be studying the trees at the common as they change through the seasons and will share our findings in a web learning event through Zoom in the Fall. This allows us to add a science/community segment to our podcast project that we are very excited about.
Trees in real and fictional worlds, have profound roles in our lives. We are drawn to them in deep fascination for what they give us: a quality of life, their beauty, shade from the sun, wood for tools and building, fruits to eat and sweet aromas, healing qualities, nourishing the wild, and their deep roots that go far below and beyond the canopy of the tree.
The notion of trees being sacred or having special powers has follow us through the ages, examples are the banyan tree and the sacred fig in Hinduism and Buddhism, and the Tree of the Knowledge in Judaism and Christianity. In folklore, trees are often said to be the homes of spirits, and a grove of trees become sacred places to worship. The term ‘druid’ derives from the Celtic word for oak.
This magic is embodied with the mythic tree, called Yggdrasil (“igg-dreh-sell”) in our story SAVE ERCE. It is based on the old Germanic mythical ‘World Tree’, whose branches reach up into the sky, and roots deep into the earth, can be seen to dwell in three worlds or realms – a link between heavens or sky, the earth, and the underworld, uniting above and below. This great tree acts as an axis mundi, supporting or holding up the cosmos.
Our story in set in the mid 80’s when the first discussion with the public started about the “Greenhouse Effect”, how global warming caused by the temperature rising few degrees higher by twenty-first century could affect our Earth. Our story starts with this mythic tree Yggdrasil showing signs of illness putting all realms in peril.