The Spirit of the Ghaf Tree
As many of you may have gathered, our favourite kite buggy meeting place in the UAE is under a glorious ghaf tree situated in the vast Dubai desert. It’s a beautifully shaped tree that provides a welcoming umbrella of shade from the blistering sun.
It is a symmetrical & lonely tree proudly standing in the desert providing a home for several birds that nest there.
When I first went to the tree, the ground around was badly littered with rubbish and bits of rotting camel fence. The tree itself was sadly being strangled by a huge mesh of old wire fencing. The tree was definitely suffering from this uncalled for abuse.
I removed the wire mesh from around the tree’s trunk at the its base & cleaned up the area.under & around the tree.
After a couple of weeks, the tree appeared to pick up and be more cheerful. The happiness spread across the desert so that the camels came to rest under it. Of course when we approached the tree on buggying Fridays, the camels moaned that we were taking their place but the tree seemed not to mind because by now we had become friends.
Ghaf trees like many trees growing in arid regions have deep roots, small leaves & are bristling with 1′ long thorns. (01)
I have been buggying close on 8 years & have never dropped a kite on a tree but yesterday I was buggying overpowered with my 6.5m Blade IV and getting tugged several feet sideways from time to time as the gusts smacked into the kite. I misjudged my 40m line length to the tree & somehow plonked my kite upside down on top of the tree. (02)
I stopped in total disbelief in my tracks confused and in bewliderment of how I could have committed such a grave & sinful mistake. Why would anybody in their right mind park a kite on top of a thorny ghaf tree?
FluffWOO who took the pics you see in this post was in earshot of my foul language & never commented on all my ‘effing & blinding’. I believe she understood what I was going through.
Years ago Glenn dropped his kite on a ghaf tree . It took him 6 hours to retrieve it but only after eventually cutting away the bridle which is still in the tree to this day. His kite was shredded. He had it repaired but it never ever flew well again.
Now I don’t believe in deities as such but yesterday I believe that the spirit of the ghaf tree took compassion on me for all my efforts to make its life more comfortable. There was no Earthly way I would be able to climb to the top of the tree to try & rescue my kite without being stabbed to pieces.
Despite Angelo’s severe warnings and violent protests about the action I was about to take I did my own thing. He told me that if I tried to fly the kite off the top of the tree I would tear it to shreds.
I walked backwards & forwards looking at the kites apparently irretrievable and horrid position. I finally decided that if I could catch the wind right, there was a slight chance that I might be able to fly the kite out of the tree’s clutches.
I picked up my handles & pulling one handle to pick up the right side of the kite. At the very moment I lifted the kite’s edge, a gust of wind caught it, swung the kite the right way up and the kite rose majestically above the green leaves of the ghaf tree. (02)
Later examination of the kite showed it not even to have a pin hole of damage.
This was so uncanny.
Did the spirit of the ghaf tree call on the wind God to deliver that wonderful freak gust of wind just at the right time?
Who knows? one thing is for sure, my respect for our friendly ghaf tree has reached new heights.(03)