Living in the 'flatlands' of mid-Michigan, surrounded by wheat and corn fields, it is not unusual to see big trees.  But they are usually second or third generation, standing alone in someones yard or a park.  Michigan was pretty well clear cut from shore to shore and top to bottom back in the 1800's.  Conservation practices were unknown.  Man ruled and nature and all it's bounty was there for the taking and for our every use.
The opportunity for me to see virgin stands of the last giant trees in Michigan came while I was Artist in Residence at Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park.  Hiking the Government Peak Trail, Lake Superior Trail and Big Carp River Trail left me in awe of what Michigan must have looked like. 
Huge, majestic, beings that grew for centuries in the storms and winds of Lake Superior.  They strengthened their bones against the onslaught by growing roots into the rocks of the escarpment, wrapping around and through them.  
They grew slowly and with purpose up to the light of the sky and 
a beam of light from the sun.

The trees were deemed too difficult to get to and fell back in the day and so were left.  Today, without the protection of the Park, all kinds of machinery would be moved in and fell them with no problem.

What troubles me is how big business and government love to worm around the protection placed on our public lands.  Lands that WE, the taxpayers own!  The moves recently to go under these lands, searching for oil, gas, minerals.  They put forth the argument that they are not disturbing the Park - we can still hike the trails and enjoy the wildlife and views above ground.  And look at all the jobs they will create!  Goodness!  We should all embrace their compassion for us!
Yet they maim the land gaining access and then poison the groundwaters that flow into the streams, rivers and the largest source of fresh water on earth!  They don't think about the consequences to the next generations that can never repair their damage.

We need to stand tall, like these giant trees.  Grow deep strong roots.  Hold on tight against the winds that conspire to fell us.  We need to reach with everything we have toward the sun and harness the energy given by it instead of digging into the deep places where what we do is hidden from the light.

We need to Beam.


William Evertson said...

Lovely print and a well expressed hope for the conservation of our common resources for future generations.

Catherine Tonning-Popowich said...

Well said Linda! Love the print also.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for so eloquently stating what many of us feel. Beautiful print also!
Kate Katje

Annie B said...

What a beautiful print! I love the texture in the bark, the strong vertical format of the design, the way the background "serves" the front tree image -- supports it and helps it stand out even more. Lovely. As are your inspiring words.

Andrew Stone said...

Great Bark. Major goma zuri.
Love the mouse grey of the trunk which still jumps out despite the colors and light of the rest of the print.
Love the vertical format.
Nice writing.
Couldn't agree more about saving wild places......
Greed and graft are hard enemies to keep at bay.

Sue kallaugher said...

I love your print and your stand for conservation, Linda.

Linda said...

Thank you so much for your comments re: conservation. It is a major reason why I do what the subject matter I do.
Annie & Andrew: thanks for lovely words about the technique and format of Beam. Goma zuri is perfect for nature - trees, rocks, soil!

alfredstark said...

I really admire your work!

alfredstark said...

I really admire your work!