The sun is out, and it’s a good time to pound the pavements and bask in the lovely weather while we can! If you, like me, enjoy walking all around our eclectic neighbourhood, you’d have noticed a beautiful carved tree trunk at 37th & Burke! When one of our editors tipped me off about this, it really piqued my curiosity. I set out to know more.
When I went to interview Neal Myerson at his yard, his story wasn’t quite what I expected. I’d assumed it was about keeping alive the heritage of a beloved family tree. But there was no love lost here. As it turned out, the tree itself was a rather large fig tree, that Myerson hated with his life. It was a menace to him, shedding its leaves all over the yard every so often, which he would have to clean up painstakingly. To make matters worse, the fruit was inedible too.
Inspired by his previous travels and on a whim, he called up Tomas Vrba, a master chainsaw sculptor. They decided to cut down the tree and got to work on it. They zeroed in on an abstract tree spirit in the front, and three owls to symbolize Myerson and his two children, at the back. It took Tomas two days to finish the project, and the final result is out there, for everyone to see.
The best part of this is that Myerson turned something he hated into something he really loved, and would look at everyday! He showed me another ancient fig tree in his yard. Myerson is already contemplating a similar destiny for this tree as well. I wonder what shape will it take ? A sphinx or a mermaid? I, for one, am excited to see!
The newly-carved tree has invited a lot of curious knocks on myerson’s front door. A lot of people have been intrigued with Myerson’s unusual carved tree and want to know the story behind it. The very same people who chided him for cutting down such an old tree earlier, now compliment him on the gorgeous and novel yard art!
For the neighbourhood, it is a piece of art that you can walk by everyday! For me, this is a great idea to take a hard look at the things around me, and see how they can be beautified. For Myerson and his two young kids, the intricately carved tree with its three owls sculpted at the back is the perfect talisman for their family, to be there for generations to come.