From our ambassador in Northern Ireland at Big Telly Theatre, Siobhan Kearney.
When all is changing around us, the trees remain a constant. I was brought up on a small rural farm outside a small village on County Derry, Northern Ireland. We spent most of our time outside climbing. The trees in these photographs were an all-time favourite. We would race each other to the top of the tree – or at least until the branches would hold us. We swung from the lover branches and at one stage we even constructed a swing of sorts – until my mother cut the lower branches so we could swing and climb no more.
As I stood in the yard at my parent’s house today I looked at the trees where for many years we had such fun. There are changes to the surroundings of course. As you will see in the first photo – me (with the blond curly hair), my father and my brother. taken probably in 1975, the trees are there – sturdy and strong. Not much change in the second photograph, taken probably around 1979 and the trees remain.
The third photo was taken today, and although the landscape has changed the trees remain standing against the beautiful spring sky. My brother has built a house in what was once our back field. But these trees continue to ground me , they have been there all my life and they hold very dear memories for me. I wouldn’t dream of climbing them today – but once upon a time I did just that.
As we see some radical changes in how we live today, I look for the constants that keep me connected to my memories, my family and my community. And what better way to connect than through nature?