HOW BIG.......?!!!

Updated: Jul 21

A little sapling planted 40 years ago to celebrate a university graduation girded its loins, built up some courage and grew to be a whopping 20 foot tree!

Now this really was very much to everyone's surprise as it absolutely wasn't supposed to!

It had been sold by the nursery garden as a dwarf ornamental cherry tree with an expected height of around 11 feet.

It stands on the border of our garden and our next door neighbour's.

The land our home is built on rises up above the houses in the estate below and from the back of the house we have an amazingly fabulous, panoramic view stretching from the

North York Moors right across to Saltburn and the North Sea.

On clear days we can see way up the coast taking in the Redcar Wind Farm turbines, towards Hartlepool and beyond.

As our little neighbouring tree started to grow too big for its boots, around 20 years ago, our marvellous view began to become obscured by its burgeoning branches and summer fullness.....and in all honesty we were pretty miffed!

Well.....we had a moan about it to each other and a little sulk but said nothing, other than asking if we could remove some of the lower branches just to regain some of the lost evening sunlight.

Our neighbours were very happy for us to do that as in truth they too were pretty overwhelmed by the tree's exuberance and the size it was becoming!

However, over the last 20 years, we've settled down and become very accustomed to the tree being there.

We now relish its frothy pink, springtime blossom and the dappled shade it provides in the summer.

And..... the BIGGEST delight of all, especially to me, is its overwhelming presence outside the office window. In full summer leafage it practically fills the whole length of it!

As I sit either working at the computer, photographing stock or packaging orders it's almost as though I am sitting in amongst the branches and it is the most delightful feeling. Like being a child in a tree house.

Being in such close proximity to the birdlife is incredibly uplifting....I am often in the company of a wood pigeon or two watching me - and no doubt thinking they could do a much better job if I'd only let them in!

The jackdaws, which have a nest in our disused chimney, jump enthusiastically around its branches; small flocks of gold finches tweet excitedly while clustered around the feeders; collared doves snuggle and romance each other amongst the leaves and we have many other bird visitors. Blackbirds, blue tits, great tits, coal tits, chaffinches, sparrows, dunnocks - all pay us a visit and for one year only we were all delighted to have a woodpecker drop in on a regular basis!

At this time of year there is such a lot of excitement and silliness amongst them all as they bring their families to the branches. Busy parents meet the tireless demands to be fed from the fledglings and the juveniles display 'odd' behaviours as they learn all about the world around them.

Interestingly, starling youngsters have been prevalent this year; passing through with over wrought parents in amusingly, argumentative groups....they really enjoy creating a palaver together!

Having the office window open fills our office space with a joyful assortment of chirrups, tweets, twitters and song that lighten, uplift and bless my day.

So it is with deep gratitude that I thank that little tree, who didn't know it was meant to stay small, who grew into a big strong tree and now brings daily blessings into our lives. Mine in particular!

And may I venture to suggest that we ALL allow ourselves to grow and expand beyond the limitations placed on us by other people's expectations, even if that growth may cause discomfort and disquiet in those around us!

And know that in doing so our greatness may bring untold joy and blessings in ways we are not yet aware of.

With love and blessings to all


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