The dance of the fig tree wilderness disturbs my contemplation. I watch from behind a mass of veranda windows as the south-westerlies twirl around the coastline to come in from the north and pulsate through the giant eight-story-high Morton Bay fig tree in my back garden. As the boughs boogie to the music of the blue heavens, bird song comes to a halt.
When all is still once more, when the cyclonic action soothes itself and diminishes, the birds chortle in celebration and then disappear again as the huge branches begin their subsequent encore.
This tree, several hundred years old, sheltered on a small plateau above the slope that falls away into Rosalie Village a few hundred feet beneath us, is multi-trunked with several strong girths intertwining, braiding, if you will, to produce huge tree-trunk sized branches that reach up into the skies like a bouquet in a vase. The dancing outer branches twirl in the wind, never quite settling.
When the gusts arrive, the entire monolith moves in all its parts. Branches arrange themselves in conjunction with one another. The filigree of green ostrich-feathered leaves allows the sunlight of noon to shimmer while slender end branches pirouette in circular patterns as larger tree trunk-sized branches sway liquidly.
The power inherent in the scene has frightening qualities that accompany the lovely aesthetic of the tree moving like lace curtains at once dainty and at the same time cyclonic
The sound like a far-off set of waves coming into shore quiets as the winds slow. Still the shaking shimmering leaves dance in what is left of their remembered movement.Slowly the dance comes to peaceful stillness until the next gust arrives with full force to move the huge tree full of strength inherited from its roots anchored deep into the earth of this Paddington hillside. Down below near the earth itself nothing moves. The stolid, rounded several trunks hold firm.