Ghost Trees: Nature and People in a London Parish by Bob Gilbert was on a display of books shortlisted for this year’s Wainwright Golden Beer Book Prize. Having returned a book about woods, I picked one about trees!
The author had moved to the East London parish of Poplar as his wife was appointed rector there. He conducted research both on the ground and from written records in order to write this very readable and informative book. There is information about the time of writing, the past, people with connections to the area, people with connections to the flora of the area, traditions and beliefs both past and present. The language is poetic without being pretentious.
I do not know the area around Poplar. It was only when I had read all but three chapters that I decided to look at online maps (including satellite images) of the area. There are no maps included in the book, but with so much information readily available, that is not a great loss. Maps would have increased the production costs. The hardback volume is relatively light to hold and well set out. Chapters are divided into sections. The seasons of the year, the local people, wildlife, plants, waterways and much more have been carefully observed.
I learned a lot about the history of urban tree-planting, how some plants were named and more besides. This is a fascinating book with an index and bibliography.
This post comes towards the end of the A to Z Challenge. Yesterday was the Letter R; tomorrow will be Letter S.
Both these letters appear in the word Easter. They also are required for the word Risen. On Easter Day Christians traditionally greet one another with the words, Christ is risen. The reply is, He is risen indeed, Alleluia!
During Lent (the weeks preceding Easter) Alleluia is rarely heard. On Easter Day God is praised with alleluias.
Have you watched the film, Risen?
Easter is a movable feast. That means that it does not have a fixed date like Christmas does. Instead it is calculated from the phases of the moon. Western and Eastern Christians do not agree on the date. Easter in the West coincides with Passover this year. (Does it always?) The first Easter occurred at Passover. On Palm Sunday I had to read the words of the chief priest in a dramatised reading. “We must not do it during the festival or the people will riot.”
They were plotting to have Jesus Christ, the Son of God put to death by crucifixion. This happened on a Friday. It is remembered on Good Friday. On the third day Jesus rose from the dead. That is what is celebrated on Easter Sunday and throughout the Easter season. Jesus had predicted that this would happen, but his disciples had been unable to understand. I am quoting below from my earlier post on this subject: Easter Day
If you are celebrating Easter, I wish you a joyful Eastertide. If you are unfamiliar with the Easter story, it can be read on the Bible Gateway website. The story is told in each of the Gospels: Matthew 27:32-28:15, Mark 15:21-16:8, Luke 23:26-24:50 and John 19:16-20:30 If you are reading it for the first time, what do you think?
I pray that you will encounter the risen Lord and know the peace and joy which He offers to those who put their trust in Him.
It is nearly Christmas. I am sticking to my weekly posts, so this is the one where I wish you all peace and joy at Christmas. I have some photos of Christmas decorations on Sue’s words and pictures. I am sharing a different one here. Perhaps those who prefer to celebrate a winter holiday will enjoy this.
Christmas decorations with a view
Here are some links to previous Christmas posts.
The last link in the list has a carol to listen to in case you haven’t heard enough yet!
Wherever you are and whatever you are doing at this season of the year I wish you well.