New eyes, giant oaks and new excitement tucked within the grand messiness of things quite old — An artist's musings


This spring I spent any free time I had reading the loveliest of books about the places we call home and the story of trees and seeing our sweet Maker in it all called Placemaker by @christiepurifoy. (Get your hands on a copy pronto, people.) It sent my head a swirl of thoughts of my own home and tree stories throughout my life and may or may not have sent me on an online hunt for the oldest trees in Florida. But I’ll leave you to discover that story yourself.

I remember the adjustment when I first moved back to Florida nine years ago after a slow ten year crawl up the east coast from the hills of north Florida, to the hustle of Atlanta, to the southern charm of central North Carolina collecting stories along the way. Coming home as an adult and a more refined artist with new eyes, the things I was enamored by the most were the trees, giant oaks dripping with Spanish moss. How did I not appreciate these more as a child in the sprawling shade of their twisting branches?

The excitement of “new” doesn’t always involve shiny, pristine things. It can oftentimes be found tucked within the messiness of things quite old. Like new life a bloom in ancient tree limbs you never thought to look at before. Fresh nests within its branches. The old cradles the new in a beautiful pairing. Unable to separate one from the other. As equals they spring forward in excitement together.

And this was a bit of my story of coming home. My new eyes turned towards things I never thought to look at before, marveling that they were there all along.

Here at this wedding celebration in the heart of central Florida Christine and Dan stand beneath the limbs of an ancient oak, firmly rooted by a central Florida lake. Who knows how old it is or the story’s these limbs could tell. But this day they tell the story of something new, the start of a journey that began in its late afternoon shade.