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Sustainability

Sentinel of the Front Door

If you were to place a mirror in front of me, what would I see? A gnarled tree, the bend in my trunk winding its way up to a sporadic dotting of leaves. The calming canvas of the moss wall against which I find myself centre stage. A pot which roots me as I stand, proud sentinel of the front door.

A creative response to thoughts on beginnings, environment, and creation

by Phoebe Kingdon

If you were to place a mirror in front of me, what would I see? A gnarled tree, the bend in my trunk winding its way up to a sporadic dotting of leaves. The calming canvas of the moss wall against which I find myself centre stage. A pot which roots me as I stand, proud sentinel of the front door.

I often hear you as you pass me by. I hear your hurried conversations as the ticking clock hastens your quickening steps. I hear the knotted intricacies of last night’s events, the deliberation of what evening will bring, or the promise of future plans. I hear you call to each other, welcomed by a communal sense of belonging. Your voices are the constant hum of a well-known song, so when on occasion your footsteps stop, and turn to take me in, I am a little shaken as I stand, sentinel of the front door.

‘A tree inside! I wonder why they’ve put that there?’

And then you scurry on, late no doubt, or willing to be on time for once. But for a moment you were struck. You were pulled from the buzzing of the everyday by the simplicity of my subverted context. You admired the ease with which my presence brought comfort. You considered the meaning of why it is me who stands sentinel at the front door.

If you were to put a mirror in front of me, what would I see? I would see consistency, sustainability, and fundamental forward thinking. I would see the silent heart of the shared space from which you plant your roots. I would see a sentinel of not just the front door, but of our futures also.

I am just a single tree, not tall, not mighty, not particularly grandiose. I am also the core of creation, the beginning of inspiration, and the moment that sparks curiosity.

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