The Trees Speak to Those Who Choose To Listen
Last night as I was finishing up my location scouting at Indian Creek Nature Center, I stopped again at Founder’s Grove and just sat and took everything in. I felt the wind on my face, I watched as the branches of the trees swayed to and fro, and I heard the tree trunks groaning as they braced against the wind. As the wind travelled across the grove, first one tree would “speak” and then another. It was like they were “talking” to each other. I think it was then that the seed of this story was planted.
I spent all day today trying to come up with a story idea. Even if I end up rejecting it, with the film due on the 16th I needed to start thinking in at least general terms of the look and feel of what I wanted to do.
If you’ve seen any of my other films I’ve done for the UWOL Film Challenge, you know that I try to incorporate some sort of message about the love of nature and Planet Earth in all of them. So I knew I wasn’t going to do some film about people at Christmas time and a Christmas tree or some horror film where a tree comes to life and kills a bunch of campers. I want to do something that makes people think about nature, even if for just a moment.
So What’s A Nature and WIldlife Filmmaker To Do?
I found this tree that had vines growing around it that looked like a bow had been tied around it. See the image at the top of the post. Doesn’t that look like a bow? So I started thinking about a gift. I had earlier thought about a father and daughter finding peace in the woods, but I don’t think I have time to really get everyone lined up and get it shot with the little amount of time I have to see this project finished.
So, the only thing I could think of was a gift from nature. But what was the gift?
Earlier I had looked for Native American lore on trees and found a great story about how all the tress came to lose their leaves when they failed to help an injured sparrow survive the winter. Only the pine tree helped the sparrow and that’s why all the other trees lose their leaves but the pine trees needles stay.
Great story but only one problem. All the leaves have already fallen so it would be kind of hard to tell that tale.
But then I remembered how all things are connected in the web of life and Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. I had been thinking about our connection with nature or lack of I should say.
We plow, chop, burn the land to put up strip malls that we give natural names like Cedar Ridge Mall or pave a street over a tallgrass prairie and call that street Coneflower Court. So even though we are destroying it at a record pace, we still for some weird reason try to remain connected to nature like calling a nursing home Meadow View makes up for the actual meadow we bulldozed to put up the building.
So here’s the beginning of my idea. Let me know what you think…
I play myself as a filmmaker up in Founder’s Grove trying to come up with an idea for this Charity Film Festival. I’m trying to figure out how I’m going to make bare trees exciting and make an engaging film.
I meet a woman on the trail, she is of Native American descent. She asks what I’m doing, I tell her that I’m trying to come up with a story for this film challenge and it has to be about trees.
She tells me that her people believe that the trees talk to each other and talk to us but we’ve forgotten how to listen. Somewhere she picks up a string, yarn, something. Don;t know how she gets this just yet. She says that everything in the world is connected. Something about all creatures including man are intertwined and we cannot live with out the other. As she is telling me this, she is taking the string and tying it around my wrist into a bow. She goes on to say that like this string parts, we are just two ends, but together we transcend into something bigger and better like this bow.
So, I kind of blow the whole thing off and I continue on my way down the trail. Somehow I’m mulling this over or something. Don’t quite know how yet. But I end up at the tree with the “bow” on it and look at the one you tied on my wrist and they are similar.
Then somehow I progress into saying that my mission is to be the voice for the trees and Mother Earth and teach people to respect and love all creatures of Mother Earth and somehow that this film is part of that message. Not quite sure how it all fits together and if it makes any sense at all.
That’s kind of where I am right now. I thought about things like it was a dream and I wake up from sleeping on the bench in Founder’s Grove and then discover the tree farther down the trail but figured that was too cliche. It’s rough I know, but that’s kind of how I work. I seed gets planted and then it either gets watered and plenty of sun and it grows, or I can’t fill the gaps and the seeds doesn’t take root.
So what do you think? Sound like a beginning of something? Any other ideas that you’ve thought about?
I think tomorrow I’ll try to flesh it out a bit more and then deploy my secret weapon. That will tell me if I have something or not. What’s my secret weapon? Well you’re just going to have to wait and find out now aren’t you.