Peonie's Patchwork Tree

A Gorgeous Green Gift for our Office

Our wonderful volunteer Ceri and I are in the office today. There we were, heads down cracking on with our usual tasks, when one of our stalwart supporters, Peonie Rosewood, pops in with a present to brighten up our new office.

Peonie is a talented seamstress with a passion for creating beautiful clothes and other items from odd bits of fabric that she picks up from charity shops. I saw her recently at one of the vegan markets we were doing and she said: “I’ve got a sewing project on the go that you might like to take a look at. I was going to make a cushion cover but it seems to be taking itself off in a new direction. It has a mind of its own and getting a bit big! Would you like me to turn it into a picture for you?”

From her bag, she produced a vibrant swathe of green, brown and blue patchwork pieces, all joined together with love and overlocked stitches. It was amazing and I was thrilled she wanted to make it even bigger and to gift it to Word Forest!

Today, Peonie delivered the finished product and it’s breathtakingly lovely! The frame has been made from reclaimed wood from another project and it has been backed with an old sheet. She really is a clever, crafty soul and we’ve hung it with pride of place over what used to be an old fireplace. I think the patches of material look brilliant against the painted bricks of the wall.

I love my job more than words can say, believe me I do and on challenging days where my soul needs upliftment, I’ll look up and see this gorgeous picture, made with passion for the planet and with sustainability in its heart, and I know it will help. Someone said to me a long time ago that this charity was built on love – they were spot on.

Today, I’ve been writing about deforestation from unscrupulous, greed-fuelled corporates – it’s an horrific business – but putting that aside for a moment, there’s the utter devastation taking place in Australia’s green spaces. Yesterday, Australia suspended its parliament for a day to honour the victims of their wildfires.

100 fires are still burning and according to Reuters, since September, around 12 million hectares have been decimated. They’ve claimed the lives of 33 people and 1 billion animals too: how does our planet even begin to recover from that magnitude of biodiversity loss? With lots of planting in the tropical zones and swiftly too.

Thank you Peonie for your beautiful piece of big art. I cannot look at it without smiling; it’ll surely help me stay buoyant and fuel me to do a better job, as we do our bit to reforest Kenya.

Word Forest Organisation planting trees in Kenya
A delegate from our Clear the Air: reforest Kenya 2019 conference, Cypriano, who planted a tree to offset his travel to Boré, from Nairobi.

My heart goes out to the good people in Australia who are undoubtedly about to start new charities and NGOs so they can begin to reforest and repair their land. I send a prayer up to the Universe too for the brave firefighters working tirelessly and going above and beyond the call of duty in the most terrifying situations.

If you want to do something lovely today, please consider making a single or regular donation for what you’d usually spend on coffee in a week, or the odd lunch, a new pair of shoes, a night at the pub, or to offset the flights from your holidays for the last couple of years, to The Word Forest Organisation.

We know precisely what to do with it – thank you.

Tracey West
CEO