Daily Prompt: Hope

May the force be with you. Just remembered it is Star Wars day today so just quickly updated this memorable blog.

Horse Chestnut 03.05.2016

Hope sounds like it should be a poem, or perhaps one of those short word japanese things – you know a whats it called, yes a haiku. My poems usually develop into legends, and the haiku has to be sort of short and sweet to the point, packed with feeling and emotion. I am more a down to earth, feet on the ground sort of person.

Anyhow, when I planted this horse chestnut, I did not really have big hopes, but as the original chestnut came from a tree above the banks of the local river, I thought who knows. I tossed it into the garden with no big ideas. It was Autumn and in Spring I had two leaves, the shape of things to come. I had sycamore trees sprouting everywhere in the garden, so why not a horse chestnut. Mr. Swiss found if it became something it would be too big for our small plot of land, especially as there is a garage beneath it all. I did not give up and replanted it in a small pot. As you can see it soon outgrew this small pot and so I bought the biggest pot I could find. Since at least 15 years it has been battling its way upwards. I gave it a short back and sides every year as it was growing to the extent that it threatened to block out the light from our bedroom window.

We have a few chestnut trees in our area, and in spring they have a wonderful show of flowers in their pinks, reds and whites. My tree refuses. I spoke to the gardner and he found if I cut it back every year, it will see no point in making a flower. He also added that there are some trees that never flower. Never flower? Out of all the hundreds of chestnut trees mine refused to flower. This year I did not give it a radical cut in early spring, I let it grow and spread. As you can see there are still no flowers. When other chestnut trees are now developing their fruits, mine remains bare.

Horse chestnut barren
What is your purpose in life
Grow and you will find

This was a haiku to my chestnut tree, I know not exactly a japanese masterwork, but you never know.

In the meanwhle I was hoping to visit the hairdresser this week, but due to the Ascension day holiday tomorrow, my hairdresser is fully booked. She only works on Wednesday through to Saturday and the only free time she had for me was Saturday morning at lunch time. I decided not to let my family hunger for a hairdresser appointment, and so I will be scalped next week on Wednesday.

Today one of my small hopes was fulfilled. My dad is now in palliative care in a nursing home in London, but he is aware of what it going on. He eats, does not drink enough as most golden oldies (he is now 100 years old) and being so far away in another country, I rely on my wonderful friend to keep me in the picture. Today she called to say he is sitting in a chair in his room next to her, which is the first time since a month at least. I heard him in the background, complaining that he would rather sit in another chair as his shoulder was aching in this chair. That is dad, he is complaining again.  Every little step counts, and I was so happy to hear that he actually got out of his bed. I do not exactly talk to him on my friend’s phone, as dad and mobiles do not work, but he shouts a few words to me and I shout back. I was prepared for anything, but every little step is a gift at the moment.

From small chestnuts you get a big tree, but it will not always bear fruit – there must be a hidden meaning in those words, am still searching for it, but it sounds good.

Daily Prompt: Hope

18 thoughts on “Daily Prompt: Hope

  1. I give your chestnut tree props for hanging in there all these years. … Still confused about you saying there is a garage underneath your garden? How does that work? … Seems I remember a poem about a chestnut tree…I should look it up! 🙂

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    • It is an estate and we have an underground garage for everyone. They piled the earth on top afterwards for our gardens. It goes down quite deep, but not deep enough for a forest etc. I think there was something about “Under the spreading chestnut tree” but cannot remember how it continued.

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    • Yes, that’s the one. I even believe my mum knew that from her school days, and they were in the 1920’s, one of the supports of the english primary school at the time (together with the “I wandered lonely as a cloud” etc. etc. by William Wordworth. Mum did not have a lot of poetry as a cockney born in 1913, but she had a stock of 2 or 3 poems.

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  2. Under a spreading chestnut-tree. The village smithy stands; The smith, a mighty man is he, With large and sinewy hands; And the muscles of his brawny arms stand out like iron bands.(this is correct and it is Longfellow) 🙂 Anton

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  3. That IS good news! A complaining dad is a living dad. In my family, to be alive is to complain about something. It’s our inter-family means of communication.

    I love horse chestnut trees. They were abundant when I was a kid and collecting the horse chestnuts was a contest. The girl with the most horse chestnuts had a high status in our very tiny community 🙂 They were our version of money. But you know, we were like six maybe?

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    • That was exactly my feeling when my friend told me to speak to dad, he was sitting in a chair. i heard him in the background, and he almost sounded like his old self complaining about the chair not being as comfortable as the other one probably is. Of course he is not walking around. He might get confused now and again, but he knows it and he is definitely not dement.
      Horse chestnuts were one of the trees of the East End of London. Mr. Swiss told me as a kid he would collect them. I believe they got paid (not very much) as they were food for some sort of animal, I think horses.

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  4. Good news about your dad and the haiku is pretty profound. I’ll let you know if I’m able to penetrate the depths of its hidden meaning, but don’t get your hopes up on that.

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