My home nestles in one of many hills, rolling out to the horizon in every direction. There are no mountains where I live, or none within coo-e. As a young teenager living elsewhere, I often sought solitude near mountains, particularly when I annoyed or upset (which was quite often). Nature has a calming effect, although what I didn't know then was that nature can be found anywhere.
Much of wheat belt Western Australia is flat and undulating, no mountains here and only summer creeks. Instead ancient and fragile soils convert nutrients, to produce an astounding diversity of flora and fauna, including towering Eucalyptus trees; Wandoo, Redgum and Jarrah.
One of the biggest trees I have ever seen is a Redgum on our farm, it is unlike any other. Branches twist and turn like heliotropes, twirling up into the bright blue sky. It is old, very old. I am sure this tree must have been here before European settlement, I am sure it 'knows'.
This tree is my 'mountain' tree
Ten years ago the redgum's canopy was tight like a broccoli head, with its massive branches leaning over onto the ground. Its roots were deep into a spring, although today the canopy is open with light streaming through. There is a big split near its base and rabbits live in burrows underneath its tree roots. The tree is past its prime although it will most likely outlive me.
A tree has a trunk and limbs, it breathes through photosynthesis and exfoliates its bark like skin. A tree is in fact, quite like the human body and a universal symbol of life in a millennia's past and present. Perhaps the ancients sensed what we now know, that trees are sustainers of human life, inhabiting our bodies by producing oxygen; the very air that we breathe.