Not long ago a dear friend and neighbor showed me several photographs she’d taken of “her tree”—one that has been standing not far from her living-room window since before she moved into her home. “Every year I tell the trimmer to be careful with that tree,” she tells me. “It must survive at least as long as I do.” She will soon celebrate her 95th birthday.
This month I’ve used illustrations of a tree’s innards to demonstrate a different method of plot development. Today I am adding one more element—a different perspective—the inspiration that trees provide to writers and readers alike and the intense feelings that are partnered with that in the form of symbolisms. Something happens in the human spirit when looking up into limbs and branches as they tower above us—almost allowing us to touch the sky above—that speaks to a writer’s heart and encourages us to follow that perspective as we develop our novels. You see, there are really NO limits to the creative imagination of the writer.
- Possibly the most world-wide symbolic phrase that describe a tree is The Tree of Life. From root system to seasons of life throughout many years, there exists the basic human understanding that where trees grow so does life.
- From a single, standing alone tree to the vast forests, they represent a Witness to Human History. (The Prophet Elijah finds shade and rest under a Juniper Tree. Isaac Newton allegedly discovers gravity watching that fruit fall from the Apple Tree.)
- Individual species of trees have taken on very specific symbolic meanings, such as:
- The Bamboo = freedom of spirit, flexibility and renewal
- The Cedar = healing
- The Elm = inner strength and intuition
- The Redwood = keeper of ancient wisdom
- The Willow = inner vision as we learn from the past
- The very visual seasonal changes of the trees around us are symbolic of our own human passages of life.
- As tree limbs pull up the nurturing waters from their roots and begin to green, we feel the expectations of the New Seasons in our lives.
- As trees blossom and invite nesting birds and butterflies, there is the comparison of new and renewed relationships.
- In the seasons of Fall and Winter we might experience a sadness of lost opportunities. Yet there is a calm reassurance in the naturally rich browns of solid tree trunks and evergreen trees that promise a future beyond the moment.
So it is that I close out my season of writings—for writers—focusing on TREES and their usefulness to us on multiple levels of thought. The two photos I’ve used today are my own, taken when needing a break from the keyboard. I continue to be blessed every time I step out with camera-in-hand, often ending up seated on a bench and typing notes onto my cellphone as inspiration hits. I hope you will take such adventures too, and when you’ve completed that novel (or book of poetry, etc.) that you’ll get it edited (don’t hesitate to utilize the skills of a ghostwriter), revised, and PUBLISHED!
|ABOUT ROYALENE DOYLE: Royalene Doyle is a Ghostwriter with Outskirts Press, bringing more than 35 years of writing experience to authors who need “just a little assistance” with completing their writing projects. She has worked with both experienced and fledgling writers helping complete projects in multiple genres. When a writer brings the passion they have for their work and combines it with Royalene’s passion to see the finished project in print, books are published and the writer’s legacy is passed forward.|