"It's not often that there is time for calm reflection first thing in the morning: either I'm in a daze or in a rush, and there is usually nothing in between these two extremes. But on one particular morning I woke to the inpouring of dawn light through my bedroom window, and had the luxury of time simply to come round gently, and absorb the living presence of all that surrounded me. It is an experience that has never left me.

"As I lay in bed I looked up at the ceiling, which is clad in pirana pine — a beautiful softwood with delicate graining and streaks of variegated color. And around me stood the pine furniture. Not so long ago all this wood was growing in the forests of the world. My mind traveled back to forests I had known and loved, especially the rain forests of Eastern Australia, or the ancient stands of Cathedral Grove on Vancouver Island, or the dark swathes of pine covering acres of Eastern Europe, or quite simply the woods at the bottom of the garden of my childhood home in Yorkshire.

"Fifty years ago I played in these woods. Just a couple of years ago I wandered amid the canopy of the Queensland forests, watching the pademelons hopping around in the early light. But actually these forests have a story which began with the emergence of the first wood cell 370 million years ago. My ceiling, my bed, my desk, my cupboards and shelves are one with them. Every molecule in them was present in the primeval rain forests. I want to thank the wood around me in the room for being there. I want to thank the source of all being for shaping these molecules so lovingly into forest and furniture. Somehow it makes my bedroom feel like a sacred grove, and I become acutely aware of how much I owe creation for its gifts to me.”