I like trees. To be specific, I like pine trees. Tall ones. The kind where the branches don't even start until they're higher than your house and the top is somewhere near the moon.
I grew up in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountain range in northern California surrounded by pine trees. My favorite drive in all the world is a stretch of Highway 20 heading east towards Lake Tahoe, sometime after you pass through Grass Valley. It's a straight shot for miles and all you can see on either side are pine trees. They surround you, they shield you. It's just the best.
Obviously my favorite characters from Lord of the Rings are the Ents. What I wouldn't give to attend an Entmoot.
Trees transcend. Not just vertically, physically - trees transcend time. The LOTR Ents are so badass because they have this aged, ancient perspective on things. They don't get worked up about much, and they never, ever rush. They have seen it all. I mean, imagine the redwoods. Imagine the trees that top 500 years old. And they're still going strong. 500 years isn't even middle-aged.
My life - my reality, my entire existence - is a blip on an ancient tree's radar. And yet I never feel dwarfed by them. Not really. I feel rooted. I feel safe. I feel like I am not alone. In a weird way I feel connected - plugged in - to the deepest realities of our universe.
Have you ever watched as a tall tree swayed in the wind? The unhealthy trees - the brittle, dry ones - break. They fall. But the healthy, rooted trees? They sway. They move. Their roots go so deep and their trunk is so... what's the word? What's the word for solid and strong and yet bendy and flexible? Able to move with what happens without falling over. Without breaking. Pliable?
Is pliability a word? That's what I'm looking for in myself - pliability. The ability to handle what's coming - to sway, to move, to feel and to react and to remain standing. I like that. Trees have taught me that.
It's getting to be that time, time for another tattoo. I never get a tattoo lightly - I only have two - and so I've been thinking long and hard about what number three will be.
Three tall trees.
Three tall trees reminding me that I am strong. I am rooted. I am able to be moved by what life brings me without falling over. I can withstand.
Three tall trees also reminding me about perspective. It's good to have perspective.
Anyway. Here's a first sketch.