The tree of life.

Mandala tree of life.

“A tree is an incomprehensible mystery.” ~ Jim Woodring

“A stricken tree, a living thing, so dignified, so admirable in its potential longevity, is, next to man, perhaps the most touching of wounded objects.” ~ Edna Ferber

Full Moon Tree of Life mandala by Caterina Martinico.  You can view and buy her work at

I love trees!  Some would call me a ‘tree hugger’ and I would consider it a compliment.

We are blessed here in NC to have Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest in the Southwestern mountains.  It was named, of course, for the poet who penned “Trees.”  It has the distinction of being one of the few existing forests never to have been logged.  Some of its trees are said to be 800 years old.  It is truly awe-inspiring.  If you ever visit our beautiful state, try to visit the Forest.  You’re probably going to the Biltmore House in Asheville anyway, so a side trip to the forest isn’t that much further to travel.  I sound like the Chamber of Commerce, don’t I?

So why on earth am I writing about trees?  I’m trying to figure that out as I type.  As I’ve mentioned before, I’m working on an art quilt which will have (I hope) a tree on it.  So I’ve been looking at many, many images of trees.  Also, I was an avid tree climber as a child.  I always tried to climb higher than my older brother and I usually could because I weighed less than he and the high small branches could hold me.  Trees were almost as important to me as people when I was a child.  I romped in the woods.  I slid down hills on pine needles and leaves.  One time my brother and I etched a hole in a maple tree and caught the sap in a little bucket, took it to the kitchen and cooked it down for syrup.  (I think we got a tablespoonful.)  Mom helped with the cooking.  I would be a very unhappy camper if I lived in a place without trees.  Trees represent life to me.

I am particularly struck by Edna Ferber’s words above as she compares a damaged tree to a damaged human being.  What an apt metaphor for my ex-husband right now.

(I took a break here for several hours so I could think about this.)

After all that break time, I still think it’s about D.  The last few times I’ve seen him he has had the appearance of a sad, wounded man.  I have reached a point in this relationship where I realize how much this divorce was about him and not me.  He became his own worst enemy and now he is stricken just like that tree Edna Ferber mentions.  I believe he has compromised his own potential.  I feel helpless to help him.  But I would if I could.  I still love him as a human being and I wish him well.  However, I no longer long for him to come back and patch up our marriage.  We are two very different individuals now.

Barbara Walters often asks her interviewees, “If you were a tree, what kind would you be?”  I’ll have to think more about what kind I am but I’m pretty sure D is an oak.  I hope he finds a good arborist.


5 thoughts on “The tree of life.

  1. Caterina,
    I am so sorry that I didn’t give you credit from the beginning. To say that I’m techno-challenged would be an understatement, but I know that ignorance is no excuse. I have now given credit and a link on that post. Also, I see that you have one print of the tree mandala left and I’m getting ready to order it for myself right now. I was in a great deal of pain when I wrote that post and your beautiful image spoke to me.


  2. Thanks for taking my tree metaphor a step farther. You’re good!

    Here’s the thing–I saw D behaving like an oak for so many years. I think and I hope he still has that in him.


  3. How I understand your words as I feel my husband is in the same place as D. I think they want to be oaks but haven’t figured out how so they become too much of a willow – bending to the whims of others in an attempt to be what others want them to be. And willows weep

    Here’s to all the wanna-be oaks – may they find that strength in their inner cores.


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