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My Towering Neighbor

Years ago, a friend suggested I establish a relationship with a tree. I said why not? I thought of a passage in an Einstein quote, ‘free ourselves… by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.’

Rooted in the earth, trees foster a sense of place. They represent connections between heaven and earth, something larger than ourselves.

A tree outside my dining-room window often grabs my attention. Why this tree that’s planted in the median of a busy street?

Every morning I open my blinds and peer down at her from my second-floor window. Clare stands steady in her habitat as traffic surrounds her with kinetic energy. Full of life, my arboreal neighbor exhales the breath I breathe while she quietly nurtures nearby trees.

Other than myself, the only people that visit her on the cement island are city maintenance workers that trim her branches.

A New Zealand Xmas Tree, she often waves her wishbone limbs from across the street. At the end of the year, this sprawling evergreen with oval leathery foliage shares holiday cheer, producing masses of spikey red flowers.

I cultivate the relationship with a daily greeting and gratitude. Clare provides beauty, absorbs carbon, buffers noise, and decreases temperatures. A line by the French philosopher Gaston Bachelard often comes to mind, ‘the Earth seeks to be admired by you.’

With elemental grace, she reminds me of the fundamental kinship of all life.

Marlene Sinicki
Marlene Sinickihttps://lilomar.com/
Marlene Sinicki is an Artist, Designer, and Visual Storyteller. She brings ideas to life for people that care about the greater good. Connecting meaning-making and the arts and design that sparks change are her passions. Marlene’s visual storytelling experience spans multiple disciplines, including painting, illustration, graphic design, photography, presentations, and writing. She has worked as an Art Director and Project Manager for dozens of strategic design projects that provided voice and vision to the collective stories of companies and organizations. Marlene draws on aesthetics and optimism, the ideals of beauty, as a strategy to create hope and a positively imagined future. Her fine arts studio practice fuels her commercial projects. The wisdom of nature and global sustainability opportunities permeate her abstract and representational paintings and drawings. Flowing lines, vibrant colors, and organic forms emphasize the subject’s aliveness. While culture prizes technology and piles of data, Marlene creates visual haikus to reconnect sensuality with ecology. She encourages a respect for our earthly mother and a socially responsible and generative approach to saving her. The art is a glimpse of intimate encounters with the ephemeral. Marlene wants the familiar to feel new again, to make the invisible visible, in order to telegraph the light within.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Marlene, in so few, yet carefully crafted, words you have transported me to your street and to vicariously experience the wonder and generosity of Clare. What a great message for us all! Thank you!

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