Here is the Yew Tree. Lovely name, huh? They're also called Death Trees! Dying to Yew Consciousness! haha! Yews possess a number of bucket-kickin' qualities that've earned them the death tree title. For one, every part of the yew tree is poisonous to humans. Even sanding a board of yew can produce poisonous dust. They were used in bow-making during the middle ages as a crafty way of killing other human beings. I made up a new slogan: "Middle Ages! If it's disturbing, we did it."
The yew has an incredible ability to die and live at the same time. One trunk will decay and within the same root bolt a new trunk will grow. This redeeming habit creates space in between the growing trunks. You could make a home inside an old yew! If the old yew didn't kill you, it'd be fun! But who am I kidding- living in old you's is always toxic!
Yews can often be found in Irish cemeteries. That's what people say. Yews actually say that cemeteries find themselves a yew. And the same for churches! Churches... well let's see... Patrick did all his gallivanting around Ireland in the 400's. That would mean that galumpety churches would be as old as 1600 years by now. But want to know the best fact of all? The yews are older than the churches! Some yew trees in Ireland are over 4,000 years old. People liked to build churches in the middle of yew tree groves. Fairly enough, churchyards have given old yews protection over the years.
Want to know something even cooler? Know what's been discovered about these old trees? The old ones were planted on blind springs beneath the surface of the earth! Want to know something even cooler? The Druids planted circles of yews to mark those unseen springs! If somebody asked me what I did with my life and my answer was that I planted circles of trees that would grow for 4,000 years, I would have done a fist pump for my own awesomeness. Yews emit a vapor in hot weather that Druids would inhale for visions.
What great people. Druids! If I'd been busy with dew and sacred springs and was then faced with dingbat Vikings equipped with axes and gold lust, I would have also turned myself into a fairy and hidden in the other world. But! Now it's all hands on deck! Who knows what old posse is back in the grove. Back in the grooooooove!
(I read this great article by Glennie Kindred to learn about the yew!)
You know, I find the patience necessary to draw a tree... I barely have enough- I've been fidgeting a lot. Then I wonder... what would it feel like to grow into a tree? Woah!