Spirit Keepers

Many years ago I noticed a really amazing old tree growing close to the town I live in. It to me, represented the incredible struggles that living things, including human beings, can go through, survive all kinds of traumas bounce back from near death, and keep living and in this case even thriving under adversity.

I watched this marvelous tree over many seasons, as it would send out new spring shoots every year, then have a glorious and healthy crown of vibrant summer leaves, followed by a beautiful plumage of golden leaves in the fall. It was growing in the ditch just off a county road on municipal property. 

Then one day a friend called me to tell me that the crew involved in lot clearing had destroyed the old tree, as well as all other living trees and shrubs beside the road because they were contracted to clear the land adjacent to the old tree, for a new development slated for the Property.

The new owners left a few of the big white pines near their driveway because, I assume this meets with their aesthetic concept, and an old disfigured maple just wouldn’t do, even though it wasn’t growing on their newly acquired property, but growing on municipal land. Such is the march of progress, people just have to adhere to a highly regulated concept of aesthetic Traditionalism.

Memory of this grand old survivor will forever stay with me and I saved parts of the roots and a big limb, buried in my backyard in hopes that a new tree will sprout from these.

This sculpture has a piece of the bark from that old maple tree with two spirit keepers on either side of it representing the soul and spirit of that old survivor to be so brutally and suddenly have it’s long struggling life ended in mere minutes, but the memory of that old survivor will forever stay with me as amazement and sadness, and just a bit of anger towards those involved in its totally unnecessary destruction.

But, I guess that is the way of progress…..