The Tree As Landmark

Mo remembered the banyan tree from when she was young, and began looking out for it as we left Vavuniya on our dash up to Jaffna.

The Banyan Tree

A landmark for generations, it must have been so beloved by both sides that a miracle occurred – even this close to the road, where most trees were chopped down to deny cover for snipers – the tree has survived.

Come, lets wander over and stand within a circle of eternity, gaze up into its writhing,  interlocking branches.

I kept thinking of a living Stonehenge, of Romanesque cathedrals.  The tree had a palpable spirit and I would have loved to sit within its shade, for a picnic at least, but we were dashing, as I said, and the presence of an army post to its rear, and an armed guard at the road, forced even me to snap quickly – and ostentatiously – before  resuming our journey north.

 

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25 thoughts on “The Tree As Landmark

  1. Just magnificent! So glad it was spared.
    Reminds me of the one in the Theosophical Society grounds here that is several centuries old.

  2. Such a dichotomy, “the presence of an army post to its rear, and an armed guard at the road,” versus the amazing photographs and “The tree had a palpable spirit… a living Stonehenge, of Romanesque cathedrals.”
    Hard to comprehend.

  3. More than a few years ago, I visited friends in Ft Meyers, Florida. There, on the Thomas Edison estate, is the largest banyan tree in the US. Not having much experience with banyan trees, it was something to see.
    That people, in the midst of that madness, would recognize and save this tree is amazing. Thanks for sharing both tree and story with us.

  4. the banyan is almost like an army itself, marching boldly out from a centre into the space around, spreading its love and shade as it grows 🙂

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