Eagle wood, modawa or mangrove. Which?
The choice is yours. A tree has many connotations as that – a tree. Trees to climb, who or what does the climbing: the metaphor of their mere existence.
But a tree, such as the modawa or mangrove, also carries with it a sense of shelter, security, even the desire for permanency.
Some trees live forever. Like the fig tree of the Holy Land. Or the modawa of Dogura. Or the oaks of the northern regions of the Americas.
Port Moresby city as a dry savannah landscape is strewn with a variety of trees, most common of which are mangoes, the rain tree and the modawa. Not a single house stands without the accompaniment of these as faithful companions to shade. Indeed, these very trees enable the city, if looked after properly, to be described as a green city.
Ruth Dom, a senior member of the Social Work section of the Anthropology Department of the University of Papua New Guinea has been building nurseries of a variety of plants and distributing them all over the Waigani campus and surrounds for many years now and no one has taken notice of her after-hours hobby. She distributes all these seedlings for planting free of charge.
Among the plants in her nursery is the eagle wood tree. Sometimes she manufactures her own versions of the tree’s so many different uses. These again she distributes free of charge for sampling.
Recently Ruth was kind enough to spare storyboard a seedling of the eagle wood which now grows at the back of his house. A good reason for him to spend some time in the garden instead of doing too much walkabout in town.
|Wonder if this will grow into that large territorial tree it claims to be. Alas, the mango, modawa and rain trees dwarf the poor tree all over the Waigani Campus.|