November 2014

- The thousand-year-old oak of Ivenack -


There are many natural monuments that fascinate me. Few things have, however, moved me as much as the thousand-year-old oak of Ivenack. Its girth is enormous and the same can be said of its height. The trunk appears old and gnarled, punctuated by coves and faultlines, covered like a rock by moss and earth. But should one trace its branches with the eyes and the paintbrush, then the tree rejuvenates itself, the higher one looks. Its thick arms branch out more and more, becoming thin and fine. In the dizzying heights above, the branches almost evade sight entirely as they – airy and light – seem to disappear into the milky clouds.


In November, as this picture was taken, the naked tree shimmered in earthy colours. On another occasion, as I paid it a visit once more, it shone in rich green. The tree has already undergone the seasonal change for longer than a thousand years – and it continues to grow and flourish today. In its proximity, time simply loses meaning as a dimension: a being this old impresses with its very existence.


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