"Alone amidst a desert in Bahrain, there is a tree that defiantly stands with its roots deep in the sand. It is called the "tree of life". Its source of water is unknown and none have been able to understand how such a symbol of life can survive in such a desolate area. Its leaves are full of color and it is a remarkable testament to fortitude in the face of adversity." - Unknown
Image: Me in front of the actual tree in Bahrain
My journey with this tree started as I was looking for inspiration in my jewelry making. While I was stuck on my chemo couch, undergoing a breast cancer treatment, I challenged myself to only make jewelry out of items I already had…what to do with this pile of gemstone chip beads I've had for years? Make trees. As I was hunting around on the internet I came across this "Tree of Life" in Bahrain. It is an amazing testament to survival in the harshest circumstances and encouraged me through this "desert" season. While chemo poisoned my body, radiation burned my skin and life scorched my heart I dug my roots down to my living water source Jesus…and just held on. I began to make trees for people who were also trying to survive and thrive through difficult seasons of life. (I even used my medicine containers in the production - I use my calcium container as a mandrel for the form and my tamoxifen package to measure the wire length) Giving trees to others helps me remember that I am not alone in this harsh desert but we are a forest. Just trying to survive and thrive.
Images: (Top - production tools Bottom- Me and my tree at my final chemo infusion)
I hesitate to call my creations pendants because I don't believe they will always be used as necklaces. I have had several people (men and women) pin them next to their computer, hang them from a rear view mirror, place them somewhere to provide inspiration. They are free to be planted wherever you choose.
I hope these trees help people to survive and thrive through all seasons of life.