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Three years ago, my partner and I purchased our first home.

The house came with a few trees on the land, although a couple were infested with termites and sadly had to be removed.

Others have fallen by the wayside in the interim, unable to withstand stormy winds’ buffeting. I’ve tended to the resilient, growing ones, and have added many more (even birthing some from seed).

All of these trees have different needs, functions and dare I say,personalities. I try to treat each one as an individual. Nurturing and feeding them, pruning back, worrying over and exalting beneath their embracing shade; much like beloved children and pets... however, we don’t really own our trees.

Having been adopted, I’ve also spent a huge portion of my life
wandering, wondering about my family tree. It does belong to me and surely exists somewhere (as more than mere metaphor, an elusive ancestry partially sown in France, with at least one quadrant of the trunk in the US, I imagine). Yet I’m rootless since those names carved on its boughs always sway beyond grasp.

So my camera, like a one-eyed bird, often takes flight... transported towards the truth of how we live amongst those who are always in some state of leaving.

Statement & photos by Didi S. Gilson

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