Sorry to all that it's been so long since I updated the blog. The Thanksgiving festivities ran away with me! First it was down to Beaufort, SC for an all-out feast with Jake's side of the family, then on to Myrtle Beach, my own home town, for the bridal shower of a dear childhood friend. (I'm at that stage of life where everyone and their sister is getting married.) Then Saturday night was the big Clemson/Carolina rivalry football game, which Clemson sadly and epic-ly lost, but ah well, you can't have it all, right? It was still a wonderful 5-day weekend.
On our drive from Beaufort to Myrtle Beach on Friday, Jake and I passed through John's Island (just outside Charleston, for those who have no familiarity with the state), where the famous Angel Oak still stands growing ever larger. This tree is reported to be the oldest thing - living or man-made - east of the Rockies, an estimated 1,500 years old (That means it would've sprouted about 1000 years before Columbus, think about that, people!), and I had never seen it.
So, of course, we decided to take a little detour and see this alleged natural treasure.
Truly, The Tree (one almost feels the need to capitalize the word when referring to this one) did not disappoint.
(Notice the scale, the massiveness of this tree next to the people around it. Those are full-grown adults, not children!)
The Angel Oak grows hidden in an obscure wooded area off the beaten path, down a dirt road which winds through the trees while you wonder where in the world it is leading you, and then, suddenly, there it is on your left - this prodigious giant of a tree among its twig-like brothers, its elephant-trunk-limbs spreading upward to tower against the sky. You kind of wonder how anything in the world could grow to be that monumentally BIG. And that old.
I walked around it, imagining what it must have been like for the person who first discovered - or perhaps re-discovered - such a large tree in the woods as they were trekking through it, perhaps surveying the property to buy and, I dunno, maybe build a plantation on. And then they came across this tree and... wow. What a moment that must've been.
And then, as I continued to walk around this tree, mesmerized by all the wrinkly folds in its bark, its stately stature despite its grandfather age, its thick green canopy blocking out all but sparse patches of the sun's glimmering rays, I realized that this is just the sort of tree that fairies would live in.
I know, I know, of course - fairies aren't real (sorry Tinker Bell), but humor the little girl in me. If fairies were real, I think for sure they'd live in a tree like the Angel Oak...
...which got me to remembering an animated film that Jake and I watched recently, entitled The Secret of Kells. It's a beautiful story, beautifully told and exquisitely drawn, and it's one of my favorite types of stories, the kind with magical realism, which blends world history and fairy tale seamlessly together. And anyway, in this film there is a tree - er, perhaps more accurately a forest, with a little sprite who lives within it, silver-haired and mischievous, much like how I imagine the fairies of the Angel Oak would be.
As A.O. Scott of the New York Times put it, "The Secret of Kells discloses strange new vistas that nonetheless seem to have existed since ancient times."
If you haven't seen this film yet, you really should.
Just scroll your cursor over the box below to see a slideshow of the captivating illustration work done on this film.
Haunting, isn't it?