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.
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.