Once upon a time there was a Fig tree that lived in a park. It grew in the prime position on the point & overlooked the river. It was a special Fig tree because over many years it grew into a great big green leafy bowl.
The tree was famous in the area. Everyone loved the Fig tree that was like a bowl. People would part the branches & walk inside the canopy & marvel. Many said it reminded them of a green cathedral.
They would put down picnic blankets in the soft natural mulch, eat lunch, read books in the dappled sunlight & watch the river. Some even had a nap. It was a place of stillness – dappled light stillness, except when the birds came to chirp & fight among themselves.
Under the canopy, inside the bowl, you were protected from the sun & the rain, as well as much of the wind. Some said they could happily live inside the tree’s canopy for a while.
Kids used to play inside the leafy bowl. You would often hear shrieks of delight before a child came running out, just to zoom back in again.
No-one except the older locals knows how old the Fig tree is, or how long it has looked like a bowl. This tree has not changed since I have known it, except to grow taller – a Fig tree like none that I have ever seen before.
Then Marrickville Council came & for whatever must-have-been-a-really-good-and-professional-reason, cut three big doors into the canopy.
Some in the community felt incredibly sad knowing that the special Fig tree that looked like a big leafy bowl would never look like this again. I don’t know what to say when they ask me why Council did this & why now, after so many years of the tree looking like a green leafy bowl. I don’t know how to respond when they say Council destroys good things, yet does nothing about the important things, like the plastic bottles in the river. Nor do I know how to help them with their anger because I feel angry too.
Last week Marrickville Council pruned & destroyed the special beauty of the line of Fig trees along the promenade on the other side of Tempe Reserve. See – http://bit.ly/NcYfJd This week they pruned this Fig tree at the point of Tempe Reserve. The Ring of Figs in the centre of the park might be next. They will likely be transformed into stalks with a pompom on top.
You can watch a short video of the Fig tree that looked like a bowl before Marrickville Council visited here – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KIB4A8fDJgw