Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Tree of my Life

I was born and lived the first 46 years of my life in and around Cleveland, Ohio. What you might not know is that Cleveland is called (among other things) The Forest City. It was cleared from climax oak/maple forest (as was all the Western Reserve).

What this means is that there is no natural place in the region where you can stand and spit without hitting a tree. They grow thick and tall.

Now this fact by itself doesnt' mean a thing, except for one thing. As long as I can remember one of my doodle images has a tree. A single tree. Infact, a single tree on a hill. Not a thing you see normally in Cleveland.

Now, this doodle tree is very specific. I doodle it while waiting on the phone; I've doodled it while taking tests in elementary school. I've doodled this tree since I was about 6.

In 1998 we moved to the bay area when Chevron made my spouse an offer we couldn't refuse. He flew out here on January 2nd, to start his job and find a new house for us to live in. I stayed behind to get everything finalized in Cleveland, and get the old house sold. Talk about trust. I trusted Steve to buy a house I would like. And he did. A brand new house that we closed on in 21 days... with an agreement that some repairs would be done after we moved in. (like replace almost all the exterior doors atleast once).

We purchased a house in a newer community. Actually, Hercules is over 150 years old.. but it spent most of that time as an explosives plant and company town. When the plant closed after WWII, the land was ignored until the Bay area population started exploding. (yeah, it's fun to make exploding jokes about our town...). They began to build homes in late 70s-early 80s, and the town has grown to about 20,000 now.

But the point is, when I growing up and first doodling my tree, this place didn't exist.

February 15th, the dogs and I flew out here. It was a Sunday. The moving truck and the fridge from Sears both arrived on monday. Steve took off on a business trip on Tuesday. I was in fog those first few days.

That first week, one day when Steve was still gone, I happened to look out our back windows... and this is what I saw. (see the photo below).

Yep, it's a wide tree exactly the right distance down from the top of the hill...
standing there alone. This tree that has been in my psyche all my life is now living in my backyard. I knew when I saw that this was meant to be. (when steve told me about applying for his job, I knew he would get it.)

And I don't doodle it anymore.

Now I still doodle a derby hat, a left eye, an apple and the letter "L". If anyone has insights into these items, I'd appreciate knowing them. In the mean time, I'm keeping a lookout for them in my life.


Carol Logan Newbill said...

Amazing. And entirely too cool. :)

Sonji Hunt said...

Lovely story, lovely tree. Are you going to make a quilt about it?

Emily said...

That is really, really, great.

JulieZS said...

ooooh, that gives me chills, the good kind. That is a lovely tree, it looks healthy too, so it should be around for a long time :)
Your other doodles are interesting, I am not a doodle interpreter though, I wonder if there is such a thing?

Deb R said...

No insights here, but the tree story is WAY cool!!

Debra said...

I decided I needed to reshare the tree story after Liz Berg wrote about driving out to find the California Oaks.

I made a small piece about my tree for the QA View from my Window challenge. My first (and last) experiment in freemotion embroidery/threadplay. (I wonder where that piece is?)

Sharkeysday said...

What a wonderful story...I've always been a lover of trees too and have always had a special feeling about trees around my house. I wonder if this "tree thing" is a personality type?

Scrapmaker said...

An apple and a derby hat? Must be the surreal art of Magritte, but I have no idea what it is supposed to mean for you. Go see this website http://tinyurl.com/88oxx
and you will see what I mean. Jen

Karoda said...

I just love it when life affirms us so clearly!

When you said derby hat...I thought you meant KY DERBY, so I was working overtime thinking it meant you would visit me one day hehehehe, but you meant the style of hat and not the race...lol.

Elle said...

What a great story!

Nikki said...

I LOVE stories like this. Thanks for sharing!