Tuesday, August 18, 2015

The Author and Trees

By Cal Orey

In San Jose Suburbs
William Blake
Trees. Since I was a kid trees have always had me at first glance. The trees my father planted to landscape our home (especially the huge magnolia one with its breathtaking picture-perfect flowers) in the suburbs were my first welcome. 

Then, as a teen driving over Highway 17, the Santa Cruz Mountains with redwoods captivated me. Going to Oregon for a family vacation to south San Jose swimming in the summer at pools surrounded by trees of all kinds made me feel safe.
Coming home

Walking dogs amid trees
Bellevue, WA for book signing
As I grew up and out of Northern California to travel through America and Canada, the variety of mountains always made me feel secure. I recall finding a dog in the Cascades of Washington, sleeping in van when in the Colorado Rockies, alone in a hotel room via the Appalachians on the Eastern seaboard, lying in a sleeping bag on the sand shaded by palm trees in Florida, savoring colorful leaves on trees in Vermont, again alone with my dog at night in the forest in Quebec, and swimming nestled by trees in the high desert ofFlagstaff, Arizona...
En route to SAC book signing

Later, moving to Santa Cruz Mountains and commuting to SFSU... I loved studying outdoors in the springime surrounded by trees...Not so much fun when a 6.2 quake hit in April of '84. Redwoods seemed anything but something I wanted to run to for safety's sake. Then, moving to San Carlos in the SF Bay Area I was surrounded by fruit trees again living in a historical bungalow setting...and onto Lake Tahoe a place that won my heart at the age of 27.
Mt. Tallac
Montreal last fall

Fallen Leaf Lake during off season

There is something about living with green trees that makes me feel embraced. Sure, during earthquakes it can be spooky; when a megastorm hits with lightning and thunder to when a giant tree falls on your home can be surreal. Not to forget the threat of wildfires and covering the Oakland Firestorm and evacuating the Angora Fire. It's like losing dear friends. 

Trees, big and small, all kinds, wherever they be, will be my forever best friends. They take on a life of their own, not to forget the shade, beauty, olives for universal and versatile olive oil--and sense of calm they provide.  I am connected to trees now and hereafter. 

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