Monday, October 9, 2017
The Trees of Toch Island
When I was a kid, I lived out in the country. My yard had a lot of trees (great for pretending you're exploring an enchanted forest), and one in particular was my favorite. It slanted at about a 30-40 degree angle from the ground. I have no idea how it got that way--it looked as if it were partially knocked over and somehow re-rooted. The top of the tree had been cut off, and there was only a single large branch growing from its trunk, which because of the trunk angle grew straight up. (If you've read Finding Angel, you'll recognize that tree from Angel's back yard.)
That tree was where I spent many hours of my childhood. I loved walking up the trunk, turning around, and leaning against the upright branch. I listened to music like that, or read books, or simply sat and daydreamed. In a way, that tree transported me to other worlds, just as Gregor's Talent could transport him.
But it's not just Gregor's magic that makes the trees in Toch Island special. Many of the trees have magic of their own, and that magic comes from metal veining that runs through their wood. Why metal? That answer I don't have to speculate about. I made them that way intentionally. There is a very powerful tree on Toch Island called a platinum oak. Obviously, its veining is platinum. And its magic property is that of healing nearly any physical ailment. I created the platinum oak in my story world to represent the platinum-based chemotherapy that played a huge role in my conquering cancer. (That chemo is called cisplatin, and it's nasty stuff. But I'm here, and cancer-free for 13 years!) I gave other trees different magical properties, many of them related to the metals running through them.
Ultimately, though, trees are simply what make up forests, and forests have an energy, a feeling that is like no other for me. There is just something about being among all the trees, sheltered by the canopy, knowing life is all around you, hidden, sometimes unheard in the dense silence. Being in the forest calms me and reminds me what our world is supposed to be. Also, I always have the sensation that fairies really do make their homes there...
Images like those I've posted here make me want to wander off into the forest for an adventure. To see more like them, visit my Pinterest board "Follow Me Into the Forest."