The Tree Story
Valonia Oak (Self Reliance) – Quercus macrolepis
Valonia Oaks only grow in this part of the world, across northern Greece, Macedonia, and throughout Anatolia and into Turkey. On Lesbos they can be seen almost everywhere. They seem to grow where they choose rather that having been planted and can become very large and stately. They are one of the evergreen oaks, but drop a few leaves throughout the year as a way to conserve energy in the harsh climate of the maquis.*
They are the largest trees on this landscape. They thrive in the long dry period of the Greek summer. Though their flowers are quite small, their acorns are unusually large. This essence was the first tree essence I made. The tree, very close by my house, was the first thing I saw each morning as the sun rose behind it in the east. I called her my mother tree, as she often spoke to me when I was lost as to where to go next. She gave me direction.
*The Maquis is a dry growth area on the lower slopes of the mountains bordering the Mediterranean. Many of the plants are aromatic, wild thyme, laurels, and myrtles. Olives, figs, and other trees are scattered throughout these areas.