The Milkwood Grove in our garden has four ancient milkwood trees twisted and bent by the almost continuous winds from the sea. In storms or heavy winds like we had this weekend they creak and groan like a group of old people rubbing their branches together and rattling their leaves. There is a constant flow of birds in and out of the trees - sunbirds, sparrows, weavers, doves and pigeons, black collared barbets and boubou shrikes. When the trees are in fruit, bejewelled in red ovals then the green pigeons descend in droves taking as much as they can of the short season of bounty.
It is early summer now and all the birds are pairing off and looking for nesting materials and sites so our milkwoods are currently popular. On the hottest days of summer it is shady and cool with the zither of cicadas as accompaniment. They are also perfect for growing boys - trees to climb and sway in wind, a lookout post for spotting whales and dolphins, a place to play with imagination and to escape to for a brooding session. Sitting on a great branched limb or a deep fork between two branches is to escape from the mundane world and enter a place open to other worlds. There is a sense of the sacred and of being in touch with earth magic through the roots that run deep into the soft dune sands.