Jo Higgins

“If a Tree could Talk”

Under a waning gibbous moon at Gallipoli, a lone pine had been singled out and left stationed on the ridge. How beautiful the solitary pine looked in the moonlight. All shimmery with its green needles humming in the gentle breeze.

Sadly, all the other pines had been fiercely cut down, the landscape flattened, trenches dug. It was as if the earth had breathed its last breath. There was a troubling vibration in the pine’s roots. Even the cliffs below were starting to show cracks under the pressure. At dawn’s light a battle was coming, and it would be many weeks before the night would fall silent to peace again.

A deep ache grew inside the lonely pine. It wanted to shout out to warn the soldiers in those distant boats, if only it had a voice. A lighthouse could shine bright to warn of danger, but sadly the pine stood in silence feeling helpless. It could offer nothing to those courageous men.

The lonesome pine was obliterated in the bloody battle and was almost forgotten, until an Australian soldier found a pine cone where it stood. The seeds were propagated, and the lone pine’s descendants are now in many parts of the world.

On my way to work, I walk by a Lone Pine at the school’s entrance. The plaque’s inscription reads that it has come from a seed from Gallipoli.

The Gallipoli Lone Pine from 1915 is the silent voice that keeps the past ever present.

Lest We Forget.