I’ve always been fascinated by trees, not by their biology or by being able to identify them, but by their cultural significance: their strength, their beauty, their wisdom and their timeless allure. I’ve wondered, “if only trees could talk.” I’ve studied their lines, their bulges, their shapes and shadows and I’ve often found myself craving the deep and dark escape of a dense and looming forest.
Tenuous though it may seem, this dreamy love of trees and forests partially drove my longing to travel Canada, especially British Columbia, and my eventual discovery of Canada’s Northernmost Island, Haida Gwaii, home to some of the oldest, most culturally rich and biodiverse forests in the world.
Lewis Collinson, Chief of the Haida village - Skidgate, 1966:
“People are so like trees, and groups of people are like the forests. While the forests are composed of many different kinds of trees, these trees intertwine their roots so strongly that it is impossible for the strongest winds which blow on our island to to uproot the forest, for each tree strengthens its neighbour, and their roots are inextricably intertwined.”