October 7, 2021
Imagination, Day 38
“Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.”
― Albert Camus
In March of 2019, my brother Tom Schulz went out on his back deck which stands way up over a vale and acts like a tree house. He painted an image of some of the poplar trees there. He told me that he was planning to do a painting of those trees every day. I smiled and said, “That’s interesting.”
On my sister’s birthday, August 13, 2019, the last time I would ever talk with Mom, Tom changed his format. He chose four trees—he called them “The Siblings.” This was a reference to Mary, me, Billy and Tom.
Tom kept these paintings up—every day until April 25, 2021. He painted one a day and posted the pictures diligently on the internet. He painted one a day all the way through the pandemic isolation. We were all privileged to be able to watch the trees go through many changes. He ended up painting 782 images. Fascinating.
Sometime around Arbor Day in 2020, My friend Randy Eidson brought me and my wife a bundle of trees he had received as a gift after making a donation to a tree hugger organization. Randy said that I could probably find something to do with them. And he was correct.
I planted “the bonsai siblings” as an extension of Tom’s brilliant passion. The bonsai planting features three dogwood trees and an eastern redbud. I haven’t painted them for the 17 months, but I have looked at them almost every day. I have trimmed and shaped them to miniaturize them in the ancient Japanese tradition.
Yesterday I was admiring the planting and the way the bonsai trees follow nature in their behavior as the leaves are being pushed aside by next year’s growth buds. The trees should bloom in this smaller environment, eventually. I can be patient.—john schulz
Image of painting number 782, “The Siblings” provided by Tom Schulz
Power to the peaceful.