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An Old Friend

Sanctuary I have always found among trees and in many ways they have saved me. In May, I visited an old friend in Auckland, New Zealand, who helped me during the darkest time of my life. The Auckland Domain is the oldest park in Auckland and it sits on top of an ancient volcano crater. Auckland Hospital is close to the park and in my teens I stayed there for about a month at the mental health unit for young people. I was depressed, suicidal and trapped inside a mind of screaming voices. Locked behind bars, we were hardly ever allowed to go outside, despite the park being so close by. Thankfully, my mum sometimes received permission to take me to the park, where I loved being around the old trees, especially the one in this photo, which I believe to be a Moreton Bay Fig tree. Seeing the tree again felt surreal. I hadn’t been back there for over 10 years. Sitting on the trees giant roots, I felt connected to my own roots. The girl who once sat on those roots was struggling to survive, b…

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