Monday, 22 October 2007


(Art by Jim Warren)

Tonight I want to talk to you about my love of trees.

As the well-known poem says: "I think that I will never see, a poem as lovely as a tree." I have seen few things in Nature more beautiful than trees. I feel quite certain that my ancestors were those Irish Druids that St. Patrick came over from Britain to convert to Catholicism. And although they joyfully gave up their worship of trees and such things for the one God in Three; I do believe there remains a vestige of the old reverence in the way their descendants look upon a tree.

Before I show you more drawings and photographs, I want to quote to you from one of my favourite authors, Annie Dillard, in her book, PILGRIM AT TINKER CREEK. She writes:
"One day I was walking along Tinker Creek thinking of nothing at all and I saw the tree with the lights in it. I saw the backyard cedar where the mourning doves roost charged and transfigured, each cell buzzing with flame. I stood on the grass with the lights in it, grass that was wholly fire, utterly focused and utterly dreamed. It was less like seeing than like being for the first time seen, knocked breathless by a powerful glance . . . I had been my whole life a bell, and never knew it until at that moment I was lifted and struck."
This is a painting I have always wanted to do ever since I first read those words back in the early 1970's, but, alas, it has never happened.

These next two are some of the many photos of trees in my vast collection of tree pictures. The first one is entitled "Golden Aspens" and was taken by Robert Holman.

I don't know who photographed a great many of my collection as I didn't realize the importance of not cutting off the photographer's name for many years!

This next one is just entitled "Fig Tree". I don't recall where it came from and certainly don't recall who photographed it. I just know it is a lovely tree.

Next is one of my drawings that I have shown you previously. The title of the drawing is "Juniper Trees". I am not sure what I told you about it when I showed it to you previously; however, I seem to recall mentioning that it is of a location off the coast of B.C.

Next is another drawing of mine that you have seen previously. This one is called "Live Oak Tree" because that is what I was trying to depict. I seem to recall mentioning that since I could not figure out a way to make Spanish Moss hang on the tree without it looking like Christmas tinsel, I outlined the tree in gray to suggest the grayness of Spanish Moss.

Following are two photos of actualy Live Oak trees outside of Gainesville, Florida so you can see what Spanish Moss is supposed to look like as it hangs off these majestic trees. These photos were taken by me years ago with a little camera that belonged to my dear sister, Betty.

The actual location these photos were taken was on Totem Pole Road, just outside of Melrose, Florida!

This photo is a scene from one of many calendars that I have been given over the years because it contained at least one picture of trees! I think it was one of those that had a verse of scripture printed underneath and no indication of location of the scene.

Finally, I want to show you a snapshot of part of the garden of the convent where I lived along the Niagara Parkway. The viewer is looking toward the Niagara River. The trees by the river are Willows.

I would like to end tonight by quoting one of my favourite verses from e.e. cummings. He wrote:
"I thank you God for this most amazing day,

for the leaping greenly spirits of trees and

a blue true dream of sky, and for everything

which is natural which is infinite which is yes."


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