In July of 2020 our family embarked on a cross country journey to Montana to be with my husband’s parents. It was not a decision taken lightly as we knew the risks of the covid situation. Escaping the city and arriving in the Bitterroot Valley brought space and time and connection to nature that we all so desperately needed. Even before the pandemic began I felt deeply that this year would be about seeing through my heart, about seeking, defining, refining, and reflecting on what really matters — what is sacred. When I focus on what is sacred, I align with my heart and spirit and can live in a place of ease and joy and connection.
The tree in this photograph stands outside our family’s home in Montana and it captivated me for seven weeks. Standing as wide as it is tall, its outstretched branches of deep burgundy leaves sheltered my daughters and me from the sun at midday as we played with water and read books. The tree reminded me that the strength of a deep root system can enable widespread open arms and secure grounded love. I photographed it daily as I watched its beauty transform with the incremental passing of time.
As I lay on my back under the tree I was transfixed by the floating luminescent blue orbs filtering through the leaves like ripples in water as the wind gently swayed the branches — the merging of earth and sky and water. This perspective reminded me that everything is connected. We are made of the same stuff as stars and oceans and trees and flowers. And, like the earth and sky and water, we are sacred, too.
Imagine yourself beneath a glorious tree, drinking in the light that sparkles through the swish of leaves, fully realizing the shimmering beauty of your being. My intention with this scarf is for it to be a reminder to notice what is sacred in your life and to live with loving awareness and gratitude for what holds deep meaning for you. I want you to remember that YOU are sacred just like nature. That you are nature.
Melanie Gordon is a Toronto based artist, photographer, and filmmaker who uses her camera to peer into life’s tender and magical places. For over 20 years her work has inquired into the nature of time, the meaning of home, and the shifting architecture of female identity.
Melanie studied photography and film at the Ontario College of Art and Design and Ryerson University and received an Honours Bachelor of Arts Degree in social/cultural anthropology and fine art from the University of Toronto. Gordon’s work has been published and exhibited in galleries in Canada and internationally.