Sitting with Ash Soil (detail) : Ash topped soil ink from the Bobcat fire of 2020 in Azusa, California.
The Twins : Story of the Deodar Cedar Trees that live in the front yard.
I started collecting pollen today. The pollen sits inside the Deodar Cedar Cones. It’s this time in winter when the cones decide to fly the nest. They come from the two cedars in our front yard that vigilantly tower over everything. They extend their arms over the Mulberry, the chicken coop, our driveway and into the neighbors. They stand at least 50 ft (approx. 15.25 m) tall and carry with them the wisdom and history of our place. Ever since we moved here, 14 years ago, I created a story in my mind of how they came to be. One was planted and the other was a transplant. That is, until I read Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer. Kimmerer talks about the tradition “in the mid-eighteen hundreds of planting twin trees to celebrate a marriage and the starting of a house”. The trees were centered in front of the house recalling, “a couple standing together on the porch steps, holding hands”. After reading Braiding Sweetgrass, I now believe that they were planted with intention and love. Love and shade that has been generously passed on to us. The twins in our yard are 15 ft (approx. 14.8 m) apart. They aren’t quite centered in front of our house. I’m pretty sure it’s because our porch has a side entrance so you don’t enter from the front. I imagine the original planters liked to wander and demanded an entrancing stroll through the garden before reaching the side of the porch. I used to curse the twins. Well, not them exactly but what they bring to the garden. The ravens and crows and pretty much any large bird in the neighborhood or those passing through. All I could see was the cars in the driveway being used as a target for pooping practice. So much has changed and now I adore listening to everyone that comes to visit. Hoping they’ll stay for as long as they want resting on the arms of the twins.