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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Main:
"Blessing of the Tree"

Finding Frodo
Justice League

Sep 3 2007, 3:18am

Post #1 of 11 (468 views)
"Blessing of the Tree" Can't Post

I was reading the magazine my alma mater sends to alumni and this article caught my eye. Every year since 1906, the college has planted a tree dedicated to the graduating class. I don't recall witnessing the ceremony at any time, but I enjoyed reading the blessing that is said over each new tree. Here it is:

May the axe be far away from you;
May fire be far away from you;
May there be rain without storm;
God of trees, may you be blessed;
God of life, may we and our world be blessed.

I can imagine Treebeard saying something like this over young trees in Fangorn. Of course, it would be much longer if he said it!

Where's Frodo?

Forum Admin / Moderator

Sep 3 2007, 2:17pm

Post #2 of 11 (350 views)
That's lovely [In reply to] Can't Post

Sounds very Celtic.

But if they plant all those trees on campus, I wonder how they still have room left for the students! Or do they just plant them anywhere?

Those left standing will make millions writing books on the way it should have been. --Incubus

Guardian of the Galaxy / Moderator

Sep 3 2007, 3:20pm

Post #3 of 11 (344 views)
That does sound like [In reply to] Can't Post

the "Gaelic Blessing", doesn't it!

Tolkien would like that tradition Smile!

"Only I hear the stones lament them: deep they delved us, fair they wrought us, high they builded us; but they are gone. They are gone. They sought the Havens long ago."
(Avatar pic: The Calanais stones, Isle of Lewis)

"It struck me last night that you might write a fearfully good romantic drama, with as much of the 'supernatural' as you cared to introduce. Have you ever thought of it?"
-Geoffrey B. Smith, letter to JRR Tolkien, 1915

Aunt Dora Baggins

Sep 3 2007, 4:51pm

Post #4 of 11 (345 views)
Wow, does that blessing date back to 1906? [In reply to] Can't Post

Timeless and lovely. Thanks for sharing that!

"For DORA BAGGINS in memory of a LONG correspondence, with love from Bilbo; on a large wastebasket. Dora was Drogo's sister, and the eldest surviving female relative of Bilbo and Frodo; she was ninety-nine, and had written reams of good advice for more than half a century."
Chance Meeting at Rivendell: a Tolkien Fanfic
and some other stuff I wrote...
leleni at hotmail dot com

"Humans need fantasy to be human. To be the place where the falling angel meets the rising ape." --Terry Pratchett

Greenwood Hobbit
Justice League

Sep 3 2007, 5:56pm

Post #5 of 11 (346 views)
How beautiful - and I'd like to add a line - [In reply to] Can't Post

'May we care for you through all the seasons of the years'.
So often trees are planted - especially in public places - with much ceremony, then left pretty much to fend for themselves. They often need extra water while establishing, the bases need keeping clear of weed growth, strimmers should not be used anywhere near them, ties and stakes need checking and loosening, and removing after a reasonable interval, etc etc.
*pushes soapbox back under desk*

Finding Frodo
Justice League

Sep 4 2007, 2:28am

Post #6 of 11 (335 views)
Good question [In reply to] Can't Post

I assume they're all on campus. At least, there are a lot of trees there. I really don't remember much, if anything, about this tradition from my school days. Apparently, each tree is also given a name by the graduating class. One mentioned in the article from the "Star Wars" era is "Tree-2-D-2". I couldn't tell you what my class tree is named or where it is. Perhaps some research is in order.

Where's Frodo?

Finding Frodo
Justice League

Sep 4 2007, 2:31am

Post #7 of 11 (333 views)
I don't know [In reply to] Can't Post

If the blessing does date back to 1906, perhaps the author had some foresight in writing "May fire be far from you." There was a big fire at my college in 1986 (I think) and several buildings were destroyed. Certainly some trees must have been lost too.

Where's Frodo?

Finding Frodo
Justice League

Sep 4 2007, 2:33am

Post #8 of 11 (331 views)
Thank you, GwH [In reply to] Can't Post

That's an excellent point. I do hope the trees are well-cared for. That's something else for me to look into.

Where's Frodo?

Finding Frodo
Justice League

Sep 4 2007, 2:49am

Post #9 of 11 (332 views)
Aha! [In reply to] Can't Post

I no longer feel bad for not remembering the tree-planting tradition, because the tradition seemed to be on hiatus the entire time I was an undergrad. I checked the college website and it seems that the "annual" tree-planting was more like "occasional" tree-planting. Perhaps it depended on whether trees were needed (or if there was room!) or maybe it was the whim of the class. Also, the first year for a named tree that I saw was 1928. By 2006 there were 43 trees. The earlier names were from classic literature or ancient mythology, but in 1969 the tree was named "Aquarius", and there's a long stretch of humorous names after that. Then you hit 2000 and they're very serious, earnest and dull names like "Believe". "Believe" isn't a name, not even for a tree!

Where's Frodo?


Sep 6 2007, 1:38am

Post #10 of 11 (322 views)
Ohhh... that's lovely *cuts, pastes* // [In reply to] Can't Post


sample sample
Trust him... The Hobbit is coming!

"Barney Snow was here." ~Hug like a hobbit!~ "In my heaven..."

TORn's Observations Lists

Greenwood Hobbit
Justice League

Sep 6 2007, 7:42pm

Post #11 of 11 (357 views)
Hm - 'Believe' - perhaps a play on words? [In reply to] Can't Post

Not quite as dull as you might think? You know - let there be leaves, believe there'll be leaves, etc?


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