The temple courtyard is quiet, the early morning mist still lingering from the evening slumber. I’m alone as I step out of the tuk-tuk and walk towards the entrance, cautious not to trip on the roots stretching like fingers across the uneven stones. Past the main threshold leading into the temple and I can almost hear the silent prayers buried within the ancient trees. Like a yard in front of a foreclosed home the vegetation has taken on a mind of its own; the trunks of trees woven growing wildly within the stones, roots extending and wrapping around the door frames guarding the secrets of the past and branches reaching towards the sky fighting for the fruit of the sun. A tree grows out from the top of a crumbling roof structure, the massive roots look more like a well-fed boa constrictor bulging and writhing easily over the mossy ruins. Many trees straddle the stone boundaries taking alliance as their outstretched arms extend peacefully on either side. Although the temple is no longer a place of worship it’s remarkable to walk amongst the ruins and feel the life still pulsing and pushing through the every allowable space. I realize that while water will always find its way the silk-cotton trees and strangler figs have found their way within the cracks and crevices of the Ta Prohm Temple.
that is one tenacious tree.
Can you imagine if one of those was in Riverside Park?
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I think this place would give me bad dreams about being swallowed alive by hostile vegetation! I noticed that the largest lettering on the sign saying “Do not climb” is in English – since American tourists need the message more forcefully than more respectful visitors. Yikes!
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