On my days off, sometimes I would ride down to the Berkeley Marina to the Seabreeze Cafe to eat fish and chips with a can of Tecate and watch the seagulls and other birds who I did not know, and eye my sketchbook.... next time, next time.
There was a giant and grand old eucalyptus tree that stood there right at the entrance to the jetty - in Berkeley Meadow, and I think there were more than one, but the one I remember was huge. If you ever saw it, you'd remember it too. I don't know how fast eucalyptus trees grow, but this one seemed to be over a century old, its olive colored leaves and seeds such I had never seen before. I came there with friends or alone to this tree and sat beneath it, back against bark and enjoyed its long cast shadow among the grass and dirt of the earth. I must have seen a eucalyptus before, but I never noticed one until now. Vince, Catherine, and I couldn't get our combined arms around it - or at least that's how I remember it going. The first time we saw it, Vince and I stuffed our pockets with seeds and brought them back to our apartment off Ashby and Shattuck and we placed them along the windowsill that looked out behind our kitchen sink. From this window we could see the sun set over west Berkeley - where lie the marina and tree, but there was never an indication of water or the bay, or the city beyond. Those seeds sat there and glowed in the sunlight, occasionally getting misted by soap or water, I think for the entire time we lived there. When we moved out, I suppose they were tossed into the trash or chucked into the shrubs outside the building.
There was one day, while visiting from Davis several years later- I rode over to the park and saw the trees all gone. I had thought I made a wrong turn somewhere even though I knew that was not possible. Signs were posted about invasive species removal and natural shorelines restored. Couldn't they make an exception, out of respect for a being so old and beautiful? There had to have been a moment of hesitation in the axeman's hand. There had to have been, right?
This blog is a place for me to journal some of my memories and some of my thoughts and ideas. It will be pretty low key and casual. Thanks for having a look!
- Drew Nelson
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