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All these years ago, when I left the native ways of my childhood, I didn’t just leave behind every last thing that I had known and every last one who I had ever loved. I also left behind the veritable support system that only one’s roots can supply. I had given myself to the whims of the westward winds, trusting that they’d safely carry me to virginal lands. As I embarked, there was a near absolute absence of certainty, which was, deep down, an alluring rationale for the abruptness of my life’s directional change.

During those early days in the place I now began to call home, when everything was still unsettlingly new, I learned the soothing ways of nature, quickly finding solace on its path. It was the reassurance I needed that, indeed, my decision had not been an impetuous whim cloaked in courageous devotion but, thankfully, at worst it was the other way around.

Today, many years later, my roots have started to grow again, healthily, as roots usually do when we give them enough time. But, as I’ve learned, roots and confidence don’t always grow perfectly aligned, although they generally do. And so, as I stood before this venerable maple, listening to its chattering golden and reddish leaves — the autumnal melody of bounty — I felt its curvaceous branches soothe that dark corner of my sub-conscience that still rears its ugly head from time to time, the part which seeks to pierce the love I have long found on the other side of my life’s biggest decisions. Right there, the tree’s virtuous goodness injected into me a sort of whimsical wisdom I did not know I would find that day: On the other side of doubt, there awaits a beautiful kingdom.



A fine art nature and landscape photograph of the famous Japanese maple tree at peak fall color at the Portland Japanese Garden. If you are wondering, When is the best time to see the fall colors at Portland Japanese Garden, the answer is usually in late October.


I am a proud member of 1% for the Planet and its mission of protecting our only home. The concept is simple: The land has given me much, so I want to give back. That’s why I have committed to donate 1% of every sale of every artwork to select nonprofits that are working to protect the land shown in your piece. That means, over its life in my gallery, GUARDIAN ANGEL will generate roughly $2000 in donations for the National Forest Foundation.