Recently while filling it time during Maya’s Ballet class, I strolled down 16th Street in Brooklyn and noticed this art like form of tree wrapping. It instantly looked Japanese to me, having seen this art in Japan. In addition to the wrapping, at the base of the trees handmade stick fences had been built. This also appeared culturally Japanese (I seem to be on a Japanese roll currently). Seeing the trees with the hand knitted tree sweaters put a smile on my face and gave me a sense of love for the tree, and an appreciation for the artist, helping us to see the trees that line this urban block.
It reminded me of the writing from Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, “…we have only to go a little beyond the frontier of sensible appearances in order to see the divine welling up and showing through.”
These quirky tree sweaters brought my awareness to the life of the tree in winter and to the ancient art of tree wrapping. Tree wrapping has been practiced for thousands of years in countries across the world. In Japan, it has been elevated to an art form and derives from the Japanese Shinto belief that all natural forms are imbued with spirit. Tree wrapping is a lovely way to celebrate our arboreal friends. More than this though, wrapping the trunk or branches we are subtly advocating tree awareness. Winter is a harsh time for trees. Many loose limbs from the weight of snow and many collapse, and die.
Thinking of our tree friends in the brutal days of winter and much thanks to the artist who created these cozy tree sweaters.