Recently I came across a poem I wrote nearly 18 years ago to the day, just 10 days after I had moved to the UK. Part of me was sad I hadn’t found it when I was writing Finding Myself in Britain! But mostly I experienced a rush of poignancy, feeling for that person I was, so new to the UK and feeling stunned with the massive pruning I was undergoing. Everything seemed so strange and hard and different, and knowing that I was here to stay made me aware that I was going to have to send down roots and make this my home.
The poem is based on olive tree – mind you, I’d probably never yet even seen an olive tree – from Psalm 52:8–9: “But I am like an olive tree flourishing in the house of God; I trust in God’s unfailing love for ever and ever. I will praise you for ever for what you have done.”