“A fool sees not the same tree that a wise man sees.”
. . . William Blake
I constantly use trees in my art work and am captivated by them. I can’t tell you exactly why that is. What I do know is that I grew up on five acres in the Pacific Northwest and as a child the woods were my playground. I remember walking down to the stream just beyond our property line and sitting . . . just sitting. Something in me shifted as I sat and took it all in. Being in the forest surrounded by trees brought about a feeling of calmness, peace, and serenity, and when I reflect on my youth, I am often brought back to these moments.
Today, I get the same sense of serenity going out into nature. I can also tap into this stillness by taking notice of a simple tree, imbedded in a planter on a city street. I also know that I have only begun to skim the surface of the meaning and magic of trees. The more I learn about trees, the more amazed I am.
In Sandra Kynes’ book, Whispers from the Woods, she writes about a bristlecone tree that is over 4,600 years old! She also writes about the yew tree, which can live for thousands of years and was thought to be immortal by the ancients. Kynes illumes the life, death, and rebirth cycle of trees, which they have come to symbolize. I too have noticed the life cycle embodied in trees. In contemplation, I have asked myself why I am especially drawn to leafless trees. I think it is because they represent a mysterious part of the cycle. Even though all leaves are gone, the tree remains strong and proud. The tree will weather winter and arrive in spring refreshed and renewed. As in life, sometimes the branches are barren, but underneath, it is all a miracle waiting to happen. I love looking to nature for guidance and asking, “What can I learn from you?”
(Kynes, Sandra. Whispers From the Woods. MN:Llewellyn, 2007.)
This digital art collage is for sale at my Etsy store.