We all have at least one story of a significant tree in our lives. I’m collecting these for a project that will evolve into performance, publication, and blossom onto social media, with your help.
I encourage you to write your tree story below in the comments, or contact me (see footer of this site) to send it via email. Photos of your tree would be great if they are available.
Stay tuned for developments here.
Below is a tree story from my artist friend Carolina Gama.
It was 2001 and I was 21. I decided to move to the largest city in the country. For a guy. It was always about a guy in my 20s, and early thirties, come to think of it. The guy was out of the picture by the time I hauled my suitcase out of the central station. I couldn’t go back, so I stayed, alone, in the belly of the beast that was São Paulo, isolated in an eighth floor apartment in a city of 11 million.
On my 22nd birthday my parents came to visit, I remember hiding the cigarette butts on the balcony as I ran to greet them. They were exceptionally cheerful that day, mom even brought a potted Ficus Tree that was placed on the balcony, and there it stayed. Untouched, abandoned, for all of my time I lived there. As the months passed I became more and more depressed, the Ficus tipped over, lost all of its leaves and I would watch it roll around the balcony during thunderstorms, like myself, unable to pick itself up. As the year came to an end I worked up the courage to ask for help: “can I please come home?” On the move back the Ficus was brought along, I still don’t know why mom made the effort of bringing back the dead plant, but she did and planted in the park across the street from our home.
As I recovered from my deep depression, so did the tree. It found nutrition in the new field to grow back its leaves and its branches. I, on the other hand took longer, but in time also found energy to mature and thrive. We do not live in that street anymore, a lot has happened since then. The ficus is still standing as tall as a ficus can be, living majestically in the park I used to play as a child. Every time I visit my hometown I make the effort to visit that park, and be reminded of all the growth life provided me since I first met that Ficus Tree.