It is only in the last few decades that I've come to appreciate white cedars. Granted, Western Red Cedars become enormous and stately but what our cedars lack in biomass they make up in longevity and beauty. Tiny bonsaied cedars cling to the Niagara Escarpment, core sampling having revealed that many were alive when Columbus "discovered" America. A TED talk on ancient plants enumerates much older ones but none more elegantly assymetrical. Their complex curvature created by the roots' patient search for purchase on the low rocky shore is particularly visible from the canoe and I frequently photograph them. The blue-grey tones of the aged wood contrast magnificently with the complementary Indian reds of the cedar duff. This scene which so strongly draws me is more portrait than landscape, I realize. To paint it is my gesture of respect for venerable survivors.
I am reminded of a poem that my mother embroidered for her own mother many years ago. It begins with the wish "Let me grow lovely growing old" as do "so many old things" like silks and pearls and treed streets. The poem ends with "So why not I, as well as they/ Grow lovely, growing old." Our ancient cedars provide the same inspiration.