Appearances

Walking through the Flevopark I saw this scene and took a picture of it. It shows a tree that has fallen down, lifting its roots in the process. The roots have ripped along a mat of soil from the ground, revealing disturbingly well arranged bricks. The tree, no longer standing, is now growing branches from its trunk. Out of the view jump an awfull lot of questions and speculations into my mind.

One might ask why the tree fell over, since it doesn’t seem too heavy, but you’d immediately answer: because as you can see, it barely has roots. True, but why is that? It seems obvious at first: it could not grow roots because of those bricks. Then again, why did it not simply reach through, disorganize them, and find its stability deeper down? Those little seedlings below sure didn’t have a problem with that. Well, one could answer, it did not root deeply because it was positioned at the height of the water and it did not need to look any further. In which case the bricks may have nothing to do with the downfall whatsoever.

What are those bricks doing there, anyway? They can’t be there for long yet, because they’d have had too much time to sink away or lose their structure. But someone arranged them there deliberately. Why? Surely not to support the establishment of the vegetation? Are those bricks under the entire park? And what are they lying on? Sand? Concrete?

Will the tree survive, now that it has claimed a bigger land? Will the branches form new stems, and will the stem grow new roots? Was this all part of its plan? I doubt it. Even though I admire the trees courage to keep growing after this disaster, I suspect the water will quickly suck its way through. It is probably rotting already, on its way to be pulp in a few years.

So what are we looking at here? Is this humans millionth failed attempt to do something constructive with nature? Is this a painful proof of how we don’t even manage to keep our city parks in one piece? Is it a millionth tragically failed attempt of nature to make something out of our ridiculous inventions?

Or is this a success story and am I missing out on something essential? If you have a clue, please let me know.

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4 thoughts on “Appearances”

  1. First thought: Public Art. Second thought, you’d be surprised how shallow the roots of certain trees run, more horizontal, within a thin layer of soil, on top of impenetrable clay for instance, or in this situation brick. Looking at the triangular shape of the earth flap, the way the soil sticks to the grass mat, I’d say it’s a deliberate design, and not connected to the tree root even. I’ve seen plenty of fallen trees, and there’s none with such a perfectly even foot print. Lovely picture, and I appreciate the thought triggering writing.

    1. Hi Judith!

      Thanks for these contemplations. I very much like the art perspective, though I think the straight line could be caused by the fact that the edge of the water was straight as well, no?

  2. Also stood there a long time trying to figure out what I was seeing. There was some sort of transparent cover over the triangular opening of what you say is the root of a tree. I did not see it as such. It was too perfect and under the cover there were some things arranged. The bricks were there to support the …………..? It is of course not a wilderness but a cementary and not all the grave stones were removed at the time “most” of thebodies were moved.

  3. Funny phenomenon, isn’t it?

    By now I have heard over ten different explanations of what you can see here : ) .

    Some say that those bricks are there to keep the edge of the shore straight, others say it used to be a path of the jewish graveyard…

    I’ll take a look at it again, soon to check if the tree is indeed not connected to it.

    Thanks for passing by!

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