A line of Oaks by Samantha Jayasuriya

Samantha Jayasuriya is a writer, coach and teacher, and she seeks to live a creative life. She is a diarist who writes every day whilst surveying the ever-changing seasons outside her window. She is a poet and writer of short stories and letters. Time, the sky, trees, colours and family life are the threads she uses to weave her stories and poems together. She lives in Barnet with her husband and two teenage sons.


A line of Oaks


How do you track time?

Is it by the seasons?

The light as it lengthens and shortens across the year?

Is it by the moon as it waxes and wanes?

Or by the stars, as they make their celestial way across the sky?

Do you track time by the sowing of seeds, the lambing of sheep or the harvest of


I track time by my observations of the oaks.

That stand in a line on the edge of the field by the village hall.

A line of age

Planted by intent

To map out belonging.

A line which has lasted two hundred years or more.

A line of memories of countless children that have swung and climbed the branches,

who grew and outgrew their socks, shoes and homes.

A line of time shown by the thickening girth

And countless rings which hide beneath the rustling branches.

A line of six whose presence gives protection from summer sun and driving rain

when caught out on a walk.

And shelter to those who need time to think, time to pray, and time to whisper sweet

nothings in each other’s ears.

I track time by their leaves that grow, flourish and fall.

A line of age.

A line of memories.

A line of time.

A line of oaks.


Samantha Jayasuriya