For one month after this year’s Global Earth Exchange on June 12, each Radical Joy Revealed will feature one of the wonderful stories of how a few people in our global community found and made beauty for hurt places. This one comes from Sanda Hrzic in Brač, Croatia.
In the middle [of the photo] is a black hole of a burned old tree. A long time ago, it was an strong olive tree, but a big fire took it away 70 years ago, (along with others too). My grandfather died and my father was not going there any more… The roots on olive trees are long-lived, and after a while new branches started to grow, but nobody was going there any more and it stayed as a little bush.
My father died and I inherited that piece of land. When I came there for the first time, it was all completely covered with pines—big Aleppo pines. That tree came on the island after the Second World War, first for tourism, but it’s not good for the land. It acidifies the Earth, and nothing can grow under it, and so it kills native trees. It is very invasive. Now we have it everywhere.
So those bushes of olive branches didn’t grow well under them. Slowly, I started to cultivate it, to take care it, to cut the Aleppo Pines, and kept all the other trees there, including olive trees, but left of that little bush, 4 branches to grow.
Yesterday I put around those 4 trees now (on each corner of the hole of old tree) the wool of some sheep that I found in the forest. In the middle of that hole I put a bit of algae from the sea that I found on the beach. And I found a branch of white flowers (as a moon is white in the night) to decorate half of it.
—Sanda Hrzic