The Bart Simpson Tree

It’s funny how something can seem so insignificant to you at the time but can become so deeply important to you when you no longer have it.

When I lived in Ottawa, there was a huge field in the backyard of my house. I would always take my dog for a walk out here, it was so convenient. I’d wake up, put on some junk clothes, throw my camera bag over my shoulder and walk out the door. Sabre would be off sniffing things and I’d capture photos of sprouting flowers, butterflies, squirrels running up trees, cats perched on fences and whatever else came up. In high school my friends and I would get high in the field, freaking ourselves out that some homeless butcher lived in the woods, then running for our lives (seemingly) to my house, arriving panting and out of breath. That tree standing alone in the distance is referred to as the “Bart Simpson tree” because one time my friend and I were absolutely convinced it looked like Bart Simpson’s profile, the name stuck. I created a cool collage where I photographed that tree at the start of every season, the bright orange leaves of fall, the barren, empty branches of winter, the budding greens in spring and the burst of luscious emerald in summer…

I love this photo because it transports me back to that time. To how free it felt wandering through that field with my companion, Sabre by my side. That fresh, beautiful air at dusk and a wide open space. Thats a luxury denied to many, I learnt that living here. It’s strange to think that that time of my life is over, it was something I thought would never end. I often felt caged by fear that I was missing out on life but too scared to do something about it. Not fully realizing at the time that I could leave, that fear is only a feeling, not a deterrent. And so I did, eventually. And here I am, thinking about the same unlikely things I’ll miss when I leave this place.

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