The Tree Circle, one of the major landmarks in the Lamma Forest, is perhaps the best kept secret on Lamma. Not so easy to access, hidden from view and rather off the beaten track so to speak. This beautiful living sculpture stands about 30 feet in diameter on a small hill overlooking both the Southern path looking North, and old Tai Ping looking South East.
First conceived and planted back on the full moon of August 1998 when there was nothing but shrubs on that hill. I first spotted it whilst planting up in the hills and had looked over towards it many times following a hunch and a feeling and some sort of pull towards that spot. Once we did finally go up there to explore we found out, to our delight, that it was just big enough in diameter to accommodate some form of sculpture or clearing. But what exactly ? I had always fantasized about a circle of bamboo forming a living sculpture that could be sat in and admired looking up towards the sky… Hmmmm such a feeling of bliss and serenity would always wash over me when I imagined that vision. So, here was a chance to plant a living circular sculpture right there, not of bamboo as this was too risky, but of trees.
I spoke to my friends about this and some aligned with this idea. A ceremonial gathering of sorts was proposed so as to make a happening out of this event which is what we often did back in those days. As it happened there was a Kabbalist Shaman visiting on Lamma and he liked the idea of incorporating some sacred geometrical ritual into the circle. I can’t confess to either remember or fully understand the science behind the ceremony and ritual that took place on that lovely balmy evening under the full moon.
The 12 trees, approximating 7 feet in hight and the necessary compost and tools were all organised through ABLE Charity the day before using our usual modes of transporting the trees to Lamma and getting ready for tree planting etc. It was not an easy task carrying the large trees and all the tools up to the top of the hill through dense shrubs and up steep inclines but we were all gun ho and excited. We first had to clear the tall grass and shrubs to reveal the space. We then had to measure the circumference and pace the circle as accurately as our hands and eyes would allow. The task took about 8 hours or so to accomplish. We were naked but very content and happy with our work that suddenly revealed a perfect circle of 12 tall and proud trees with a 12 granite stoned fire place circle within the outer circle of trees. A beautiful sight indeed.
The gathering and the ceremony was scheduled for the following evening which was the full moon, the harvest moon, a full and bright beauty hanging in the sky above us.
The tribe gathered, the ceremony had, the feast enjoyed, we drummed and danced and made merry up in the green hills of the forest under the watchful bright eye in the sky.
The Tree Circle was born.