I went seeking the light today. Truly, literally! It was a grey, blank-canvas sky day; a neither here nor there day; not cold, not warm, not raining but not especially dry either. A nothing sort of day. So, I put on my cheerful face and went to look for the light; actually lights, in the city, which are to form part of a public art exhibition called ‘Solidarity Grid’ http://www.scapepublicart.org.nz/. Now, search as I might, I couldn’t find them, for a very simple reason, which hit me like a blinding flash; the exhibition isn’t open until 27 September, 5 days hence! 🙂
Determined not to make my drive to the city a complete waste of time, I drove in to the Botanic Gardens car park for some visual refreshment. And there, right before my eyes, I suddenly saw the very thing I had been wanting to visit, to find out about, for months. Can you see it?
Take a closer look….
Looks like a home for a large bird, or, maybe, a sculptural rendition of a modern-day Tardis, come to rest in the midst of the pines of Christchurch. Strange things happen here these days, but, perhaps not quite that strange. Let’s cross the river for a proper look.
On we go, past the kowhai and blossom, along the path,
until we have our destination in sight.
Nearly there; getting closer…
until here we are, the closest we can get to ……
THE WOLLEMI PINE.
The Wollemi Pine is New Zealand’s first dinosaur plant. It is a relic pine with a 200 million year old history and is one of the oldest and rarest trees in the world. It was thought to be extinct until its discovery in the Blue Mountains of Australia in 1994. There are less than 100 adult trees known to exist in the wild. This little Wollemi pine was grown by tissue culture,
in Christchurch, and planted in our Botanic Gardens to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Gardens’ establishment. It is the cornerstone of an area in the Gardens which will be known as the Gondwana Garden http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/christchurch-life/avenues/features/8474759/The-botanic-gardens-guardian
“Wollemi” is an Aboriginal word meaning “Watch out and look around you”. I am very glad I did today. I may have missed the lights I was originally looking for, but I feel that I found another type of light or, perhaps, enlightenment, of equal brilliance. And, in a funny, odd way, strange as I thought it might be when I mentioned it earlier, I did find a Tardis; a Tardis in a tree.
The Wollemi Pine http://www.wollemipine.com/index.php project which is dedicated to the preservation of the Wollemi Pine has Wollemi Pines centres all over the world. There may be a Wollemi Pine near you. Check it out on their website 🙂
So, with a final look around me, I went down the path, across the bridge and home to tea.