Sometimes, when I was just a wee little thing, my mum and I would go into the city to pick up my dad from work. The way I remember, it didn’t happen everyday but was more like a special occasion.
As we drove the 20 or so minutes in I’d want to know if were were going to drive up the road with the “tree tunnel”. I recall seriously losing the plot with excitement every time we did. It just seemed so mystical, like we were driving through our very own fairy tale. We’d drive in from suburbs and through the magic tunnel to pop out on the city side – it just added to the spell. Mundane suburbs, mystical tunnel, and the big, exciting, city where my dad waited for us.
I loved it when the trees were full of leaves – the brief but cool escape from the summer sun (we didn’t have air conditioning in the car back then) as we passed through. But I also liked when the leaves turned orange and then left the branches bare. It reminds me of scenes from movies like House of Flying Daggers or Hero.
For years that road held magic for me. Then, as I grew older, I sort of forgot about it for a while.
Until I started my university course in the city and found myself parking near the river and walking up that road to get to class. It was autumn and I was caught in a magical, flurry of leaves as they swirled in the wind, getting caught in my hair on the way down. I was so mesmerised that I was late for class.
The magic had returned and I was flooded with my childhood memory. I am still awed by the size of what I now know are plane trees, their leaves that are bigger than my grown up hand and the canopy tunnel they form overhead. The sheer beauty and majesty of the scene still strikes dumb me every time. I think the sweet memory of those trips to collect my dad also add to the way it makes me feel today.
I got to thinking how cool it would be if I could take it all home with me somehow. Capturing the magic and keeping it for those times magic is needed.
One thing I’ll say about myself is that I’m determined. I made my” sister-out-of-law” come with me after one of our runs around the nearby river. There we were, in the rain, collecting leaves from the road and the footpaths. Of course I had to take only the perfectly formed leaves and insisted on inspecting her collection for suitability. I’m sure she thought I was totally nuts but she did it anyway, with good grace – as only true friends do.
It only took me 2.5 years to complete my original idea but here it is – my collection of leafy, magical memories which I turned into a collage.
And the final framed product, in the room it was created for.
Perhaps in another 2.5 years I might actually hang it on the wall!