I saw a huge oak tree recently, out in the shires, close to where I worked, Tree surgeons had cut off some of its branches. Each remaining stump seemed like a trunk.

It reminded me of a tree I saw in Perth, Australia, decades ago. A majestic specimen that made me want to take a photo of its roots, for memory’s sake.

Once upon a time, I was drafted by an elder to translate a children’s book from Yoruba to idiomatic English. The elder took me under his wing and I learnt many things from him.

Fast forwarding a couple of decades, the elder came to hear me perform a concert. After the event, we came across younger folks who share our heritage. The youngsters greeted me as an elder. I pointed out the change in dynamics. ‘You wear it well’, my elder said to me.

How many of us have the wherewithal to keep an eye on the sprawling tree, growing from our roots?


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