There's an amazing impermanence to everything if you watch long enough. I suppose that's what we all find so magical about photographs and paintings - the ability to pause time and make something permanent.
A few months ago, I blogged about how I had been driving to work and had been moved by the way a particular tree looked with the foggy SF Bay in the background. It was so breath-taking to me that I parked my car, got out, and snapped a picture of the whole scene. Well, Amanda saw the picture I had taken and was also so moved by it that she decided to paint a picture of it. It turned out beautifully and the picture now hangs in our office in our apartment.
Since she painted the tree, I've come to think of it as "Amanda's tree." I look at it every day on my drive into work and smile as I think of her. It's a nice little moment I get to have each day during what is a relatively long commute to work.
Well, last night the Bay area was slammed with a vicious storm. According to the news, San Francisco was hit the worst with ridiculous gale force winds that tore apart powerlines and littered our entire neighborhood with other shattered shards of people's recycling. Unfortunately, I was also really bummed to see that Amanda's tree took a bit of damage from the storm as well.
If you look at the picture of the tree, you'll see that it has some cool lower branches just hanging out below the general mop of its main bunch of foliage (is it right to call that little tuft at its top its 'canopy?'). This morning, it was sad to see that those lower branches were all snapped and dangling limply from the trunk amidst a mess of splintered wood.
It was a bummer to see. But, just as quickly as it was sad to see, it also made me feel really glad that I had decided to take that picture back in September. Now I feel like Amanda and I have taken some sort of special steps to save the memory of a tree that might be blow away into the Bay one day. If it does, we'll still have it around to enjoy through the permanence Manda's art.
It's a nice thought.