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Relocating to Santa Fe New Mexico in 1988 of course involved reorienting myself to the vastly different terrain and flora, with completely different environmental issues to contend with. As an artist, my concerns about the eroding environment and climate change have become much more apparent in the high sierra. And in 2003, the effects of three years of serious drought brought a bark beetle blight onto one of the major groups of trees – the pinion. Massive death occurred across the land. For me, it harkened fears of mass extinction, which is presently a reality in our time.

I called a meeting through the local newspaper to find a means of expressing our grief of this loss. It was to be called a TreeWake. Over the next three months, a group of around fifteen people from all walks of life attended meetings to plan the TreeWake. The group chose a grove of dying pinion trees on acreage my husband and I have recently purchased, and collectively we wove together an hour long ceremony that included air, fire, water, music, prayer, readings, and offerings to remain in the grove. It was to be a ritual of gratitude to the dying trees for what they had given to life. And it was a healing for us to move beyond our grief and into hope and renewal and a new vision of possibility.