This summer, Suniti and David opened the gate of Shay and Claire’s garden (which is also Mama Sequoia’s garden, though I don’t know that trees feel belonging as claiming, in the way we’ve learned to do) and welcomed in anyone who wanted to spend some moments of silence in company with this long-lived spirit. It was a grief-rich, peaceful ceremony of a day.
In the company of this tree I feel how small and urgent we humans are when we identify exclusively with a single flesh body, whose image can be captured on a strip of film. The ephemerality of light, breath, and connection feel represented in the little paper tags that we tied to low hanging branches, and have now nearly dissolved in the rain. Meanwhile, the spirits we feed with our attachment live on, and Mama Sequoia holds the fluid shape of history in her quieting core, soon to be exposed to the sky.
Shay and Claire are still caught by legal aggression on the part of the owners of the house next door, and the tree remains. For more information on the history of this dispute, you can visit their gofundme page.
(Some of these images are woefully overexposed, as I was working without a meter in and out of her glorious canopy on a day of changing skies. Such is life. 🙂