#O68: The Healer

This is a small study of an Eucalyptus tree – one of several I pass on my morning walks. The source photo is down below. I liked contrast of the cool blue-gray dappled green of the trunks against the Raw Sienna under-painting, so I decided to leave it just like this. The featured image above is distorted. Below is the image in the right proportions.


I grew up next to an area densely populated with huge Eucalyptus trees – I spent countless days there as a young boy. I have a special affinity for these trees.

#O68 Source.JPG

While I was painting this, I kept thinking of a certain poem by Wendell Berry. It is quoted in part below:

The Sycamore

In the place that is my own place, whose earth
I am shaped in and must bear, there is an old tree growing,
a great sycamore that is a wondrous healer of itself.
Fences have been tied to it, nails driven into it,
hacks and whittles cut in it, the lightning has burned it.
There is no year it has flourished in
that has not harmed it.
I recognize in it a principle, an indwelling
the same as itself, and greater, that I would be ruled by.

from: The collected Poems of Wendell Berry
“…There is no year it has flourished in that has not harmed it”

Thanks for visiting my blog!


11 thoughts on “#O68: The Healer

  1. I love this pairing! It’s one of my favorites. And the poem! “There is no year it has flourished in that has not harmed it”. It’s so uncomfortable “backwards”. It would be like naming your site “Dark Fruitfulness”.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Nadia for your kind comment. Yes, that line “There is no year…” was specifically the one I thought of also while painting this – I remember an Eucalyptus tree behind our house back in South Africa. It had wire tied around it, and the trunk had grown right over parts of it. Whenever I walked past and saw this, I thought of the poem. Thanks for visiting!
      No worries about the typo – I make them all the time!


  2. I love this! Fritz…what does a eucalyptus tree smell like in real life while it is still standing? I have essential oils and I know they are really strong and menthol like but how about when the tree is living?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Dawn. Sorry for my late reply. Hectic week. I would say there is always a smell of eucalyptus around the trees but I have not smelt it from far off. But if you take some leaves and crush them in your hand, the smell is beautiful. Don’t eat them, they are bitter as hell.
      Thanks for your kind comment!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I adore the eucalyptus and the smell is something that always reminds me of my childhood. I love how loose this tree is, the dabs and dashes of color in the right spot, you captured the essence of the tree. Love the poem, Wendell Berry always speaks to my heart.

    Liked by 2 people

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