Tree Haven Home by Mary Jo Oxrieder - Fine Art Print
Fine Art Print - Image size: 8" X 10", backed & sleeved.
Fine art prints and cards of Mary Jo Oxrieder's original watercolor & Ink/mixed media paintings.
Story: My Mother told me that as soon as I could walk I gravitated to trees. She has pictures of me at three hugging my first tree, my little arms against a giant oak. I’d talk to trees like other kids talked to cats and dogs. (I did that too, along with squirrels, chipmunks, birds …you get the picture.) One could easily imagine I’d be a kid “challenged” by life in the classroom and you’d be right. Sitting indoors for long stretches, interacting in groups was a struggle and I was teased but I also made close friends of other highly imaginative, geeky, shy kids.
My love of trees intensified as I found out more about them. How critical them are for our survival, how beautiful and energizing for our peace of mind. I dove into my psych and science studies, overcoming my reluctance to be indoors, around too many people. After graduation, I found jobs that made a difference to sustaining our precious forests around the world. I shut down the pulls to be alone and introspective and made myself do the work I felt must be done. Until one bright morning in the middle of yet another large and busy city. I realized I was exhausted. Its as if I suddenly woke up. I looked around me at the buildings, the rushing people annoyed that I was standing in the middle of the sidewalk, felt myself breathe in the exhaust-filled air. I canceled my meetings and walked to the nearest park and sat for hours. When was the last time I’d walked in a forest for pure joy rather than to assess it? When was the last time I’d camped, hiked or hugged a tree? I could hardly remember.
You can probably guess the sudden turn my story takes. Over the next few weeks I got a grip on myself and my life. I was not the only person doing this work. It really wasn’t “all up to me.” No one close to me was surprised to hear that I quit my very serious jobs and moved as close to mountains and trees as I could get myself and my thoroughly relieved family. I think everyone who knew and loved me gave a collective sigh of “about time.” I’m with my family – really with them now. I feel present to life again. Once more I hug trees, grow trees, write about trees, know trees intimately. And, of course, talk to trees. Doesn’t everyone?
All artwork by Mary Jo Oxrieder is copyrighted and may not be reproduced in any form with out written permission from the artist.