People love trees. Trees offer unique elements to landscape. Artful trees show up in great vistas or dense woods. Stand inside the redwood forest for a commanding performance. Or scan the distant plains to see a solitary conifer. Trees inspire art, especially family trees for genealogy.
Photo by Art Wolfe (top) Copyright 2020 Art Wolfe All Rights Reserved.
Family trees can be as artful as the lives we combine together. One of my favorite “family” movies is Moonstruck, where very strong Italian emotions flavor the love and sharing between the deepest relationships of marriage, parents, and siblings.
The Infinite Tree
Imagine what your family tree looks like. If you could just sit in your ancestors arms and listen to the stories they’ve lived. If you could see the memories they’ve shared. Imagine the love between your great grandparents, who conceived your parents. How did your parents meet and fall in love; how did they live their young lives together? What did they think when you were born? Some things are very hard to capture in art, especially family tree art. Claudia Tremblay is an artist. I love her painting “The Infinite Tree” because genealogy really is infinite. Not only does it represent our past but it represents our future. We sit on a branch between our ancestors and our descendants, thinking about the past, and wondering about the future.
Some trees invite you to take their picture.
My daughter studied abroad in New Zealand her senior year in college. She has a blog of her photography (click the caption above). Her beautiful photograph of a solitary tree in a large lake strikes me as sad, though. This tree won’t live – or will it? The world changes around us. We experience great hardship, and sometimes stand alone. An orphan child can’t help wonder why he is an orphan but despite that rejection still seeks out his family. DNA searching and genealogy will help him get back home.
The Wanaka Tree is an orphan. It grew from a fence post planted in the ground 70 years ago. My daughter tells me it is not lonely, however, as hundreds of tourists pass by to take it’s picture.