‘Grand Sweeping Spiral’

Oil on Canvas Board 20″ X 16″


A vital part of my daily practice of walking in the forest is stopping,
and sitting in stillness for a spell.
I will usually close my eyes, open my other senses, and meditate for awhile.
Then, when I come out of the meditation, upon opening my eyes,
the world around me appears brand new, with a new beauty and clarity.
It’s me, my spirit, that has been cleansed and renewed,
giving the forest surrounding me a fresh sparkle through my eyes.
And often it is at this moment that I will notice a particularly beautiful sight
that calls out to be seen by others as well…
This painting arose from one of these occasions.
I opened my eyes to be struck by the grand sweeping boughs
of this Grand Fir as they spiral through time and space
~ up & up and around & around in a long slow graceful swirling dance
as the tree winds its way through the years of its lifetime.


Tree Time

I recently read ‘The Overstory’ by Richard Powers,
a remarkable novel, about trees, that blew my mind wide open over and over again.
As the blurb on the back cover says: “There is a world alongside ours
–vast, slow, interconnected, resourceful, magnificently inventive, and almost invisible to us.
…the world of trees.”
It got me thinking about tree time.
We have a longing to communicate with the trees, and we have so much in common with them,
–both living, growing, procreating, dying; needing nourishment and a supportive environment,
and both upright vertical beings connecting Earth with Sky
– with the difference being largely in the respective timespans of our lives;
“they operate on a different scale of time”, their stories are told too slowly for us to hear.
“The chemistry of their roots and the perfumes their leaves pump out change when we’re near.
…When you feel good after a walk in the woods, it may be that certain species are bribing you.
So many wonder drugs have come from trees, and we haven’t yet scratched the surface of the offerings.
Trees have long been trying to reach us.
But they speak on frequencies too low for people to hear.” (my underscore);
and “…down in cool riparian corridors smelling of silt and decaying needles,
redwoods work a plan that will take a thousand years to realize.”


~Barbara Brown, from upcoming Volume II, SYLVAN REFLECTIONS, Wanderings, Paintings & Ponderings From the Forest