Yesterday, we went searching for silver birch trees. They are not that common in my part of the world, where there is a predominance of oaks and sycamores.

My friend had been through a really bad period and asked me to light a candle for her. I told her she needs to get rid of the shit first and folklore believes that silver birch is used for that purpose because the tree symbolises purification and renewal. In November, my Ma swept my room clean with birch silver branches and burned smudge. We all felt better after that and even my dad started smiling … just a little.

We had a lovely day yesterday looking for silver birches.  They are lovely trees because they support over 300 insect species, and because of their light foliage, you can often find beautiful flowers like wood anemone, bluebells, wood sorrel and violets growing beneath the trees. And lots of fungi which my dad loves. We also saw lots of birds nests.