​Trees have been part of me forever. From the first love in my life, the cherry tree in my fathers gardens to the “secret” hollow trees of my childhood where we escaped to from adult-supervision to the “tree house tree” in Sarina’s childhood home. Trees hold a magic that stops me in my tracks.

We live next to Annadel State Park in Santa Rosa, Northern California. A magical place to live. Sometimes I think we were called to move up here because of the trees. I am blessed, I can walk out the door and find groves of trees within a few steps. 

This Christmas season my love for trees sparked two new traditions.

Every Christmas Eve we will walk by my trees and adorn them with an ornament. 
And inspired by Judi Dench, who plants a tree on her land for every friend that passes away, I will name a tree on my hill for friends I lose. Judi, like myself, belongs to a group of women called “Tree Sisters”. 

Tree Sisters is a global network of women who donate monthly to fund the restoration of our tropical forests as a collective expression of planetary care. 

Join them: www.tressisters.org.  The air we breathe, and the world we leave behind for our children depends on our trees.

Finally, let me introduce you to  and celebrate my trees:

🌳 Adam

He was love at first sight. The first time I drove up the road to my street I had to stop.  The name Adam just poured out of me. Adam is stunning. Adam is strong. He stands as a guardian for everyone coming up the hill. 

Adam has become my go-to place when I need support. When I want to lean on something that is stronger than myself. I read him my stories, tell him what aches me. 

When Sarina dressed up as a “human bouquet” to deliver joy “one 🌷 at a time” to the fire victims who were still in shelters at that time we had to pay tribute to Adam on our way home. He too kept our hill from burning.

I always walk away feeling happier. My small world opens up just by listening to Adams stories.

🌳 Hugo – the patient

Hugo is on every sunset you might have seen me share on my Facebook page.  

Hugo was the tree Sarina and I hugged when we came home in October of this year after the wildfires threatened to burn up our hill. 

He stands outside my dining room window, leaning onto a large boulder for assistance. Someone butchered his wings before we moved in. He is still healing, still a patient needing extra support.

We sit next to him to watch the sunsets. I swear he hears our stories. I can climb into him and feel free.  Hugo is a symbol of healing for me.

🌳 Victor

The first time I sat on our sofa and admired the view, Victor smiled at me. His shape is precise:  “Victory” is what you see.  He stands firm, protected from the winds.  When things don’t go my way, he nods at me: “you can do this!” is what I hear.

🌳 Eva

It took me a while to find Eva. In proximity to Adam, I thought, healthy and impressive and stunning was what I wanted to see. Eva bears all of that and more. She stands protected in a grove of smaller trees. Above Adam on the same hill but not immediately visible from the path. You have to hike off the trail to find her.  Her crown is full, giving shade to the siblings below. Her canopy reaches far down to the ground. 

“Protected” is what I feel when I sit with her.

I dedicate the next tree to my friend of more than 40 years

🌳 Corinna 

who suddenly passed away in October, a day before the wildfires devastated part of our city.

She died at age 56.😔.

When I visited Corinna in August this year we spoke about her bucket list wish to visit me in California. She loved to learn about my life in the US, was a dedicated student of yoga, a devoted friend and admired my trees from afar. She loved Sarina.

I picked this tree because it stands firm, like Corinna did, across the street from Adam, hugged by beautiful flowers. I pass it every day on my way down!

More of my tree stories and adventure will follow.

Leave me a comment or write me a note if you have named a tree and why.


Manuela 🌳