Our Gates & How Nature Inspires Our Service Ethos
These are our front gates to Holly Lodge and were developed by the marvellous young people who make up our Participation Group. The young people wanted to continue the nature theme of our building and which continues through our website. To them nature can be a source of solace and support. The image they designed was that of a tree withstanding the changing of the seasons while continuing to grow and bear fruit. For them the tree represents resilience and adaptability, their strength allows them to sway in a storm but still stand tall. This resilience is also found in us. If you hover over the different parts of the tree below you can discover more about the circle of life and what we can learn from nature.
1) Trees are grounded, they owe that to their roots. Our early life experiences create our roots. Roots provide the foundations that anchor and support us. They take years to develop but once they are nurtured, trees can grow tall and produce fruit. Our roots include and are watered by our primary caregivers, support systems, relationships, heritage and our environment. Sometimes, roots don’t receive the nutrients they need which can lead to challenges in childhood and adolescence. Together, we can work to strengthen these roots to help create that stability. Like the trees, with solid foundations we can all grow and bear fruit.
2) The branches are different paths and journeys people take in their lives, the imprints of circles show the lessons, trials and tribulations of who, what and where we come from. Our journey in life is a process of learning, healing and growing. There is no right or wrong direction for a branch to grow towards. Regardless of the path we take, our journey always has value. As our branches grow we can find ourselves in the position to provide shade for others while their roots grow.
3) Every tree has the ability to grow, but if we want it to bear fruit, pruning will help make that happen. To reach our goals, we need some pruning too, cut some things out and support other, more fruitful parts. Although laborious, pruning doesn’t kill the tree, it makes it stronger. Together, we can identify and support our skills and strengths to promote fruit growth.
4) A tree can be a refuge for others (like this squirrel). We can offer and find that refuge in relationships, friendships and hobbies.
5)Fruit represents the product of the nutrients, the pruning and the care that has gone into bringing up the tree. Fruit can also represent communication between people. Fruit can nourish others to help them grow their own roots. It can include physical gifts as well as acts of courage, generosity, compassion.
6) Seeds represent the impact we can have on others. In life we have the opportunity to plant seeds wherever we go such as through kind words or good deeds. We often don’t see the fruit borne from the seeds we plant but if we act kindly and positively this can have a profound impact upon others and our fruit bear more fruit in a never ending continuum.