Reflections and Gratitude
It has now been three months since the publication of my first children's book A Boy and His Tree. During the time of all the stages leading up to the publication, there have been many joys and many bumps along the way. There were skills learned while writing, editing, sketching, photographing and formatting. Also new vocabulary and technical skills learned too! Not to mention timeless moments of walking, pondering and dreaming of the characters, the setting, and most of all, the message.
This time of creating was was not unlike a pregnancy. There were many people along the way who supported me and encouraged me. And there times of solitude, where I was in my studio working on illustrations and doing them over and over, letting go of pieces and moving forward with new ones, always exploring, editing and discovering.
I still remember the moment I picked up my boxes of books at the printers in Denver. When I held the hard cover in my hands and turned the pages, I could hardly believe it had happened. My dream had actually come true and I was holding a real book in my hands, One that I had dreamed of creating from start to finish. I cried gentle tears of joy. It was like giving birth. I wrapped up those boxes in my car and sang sweet lullabies to them as I drove back to Boulder, oblivious of rush hour noise and traffic and simply wanting to imprint each book with love.
Then, the next set of skills needed to be learned: how to promote and get the word out and send them out in to the world. Many people have helped support the purchase of A Boy and His Tree, from family and friends to teachers and parents in local schools. Even the Longmont Yarn Shoppe, where I have taught many felting classes in the past was a happy supporter of my book! And new friends and have come my way through word of mouth. The book has traveled near and far, from its hometown of Boulder, CO to Canada, New Zealand, Australia and the Czech Republic. Like raising a child, this has been a process of tending and watching it mature and leave home, to travel to places unknown, trusting that it will be held and loved by people of all ages.
Thank you to every person who helped make my dream of A Boy and His Tree come true.
But like with any book, the story comes alive when it is held and cherished and shared with others, preferably with a warm cup of tea in your favorite chair.
George and Grandpa Russ would approve.
I am humbled by the array of words of appreciation that I have received in the last few months.
What strikes me is how different aspects of a story speak to different people. Every person is touched in their own way and receives a healing element according to what they need. I would like to share some of these impressions with you, from parents and teachers of all ages. Enjoy!
"It's blustery outside today and it felt so nice losing myself in that cozy world you created. I like being left with the image of the Christmas Star." Jullin G., WA
"I read your story and felt George's love for his tree, his family and his interest in doing every day things. Your felted images left something for the imagination of young children to catch."
Donna.H., mother, grandmother, Waldorf Early Childhood teacher, Boulder, CO
"I read your book while sipping a cup of tea. You were able to communicate something so very basic about the love and care of family life as well as a healthy relationship to our outer world and nature." Charlotte. H., Mother and Waldorf Early Childhood teacher, Boulder, CO
"I'm like that old tree! I felt comforted reading how George loved his grandfather AND his tree."
Teddy.L., (93 years old), Great Grandmother, Ontario, Canada
"I really liked it. It left me feeling warm and relaxed." Dave D., BC, Canada
"Thank you for such a beautiful gift and reminder to the world. It really touched on how everything is so connected and that gratitude is one big circle."
Stacie. S., Class 4 Waldorf teacher, Boulder, CO
"Addy and I have thoroughly enjoyed reading your beautiful book. She is really entranced by the images and the story is so soothing.We have read it many times already."
E. Baker, Founder of Living Arts School and the Wee Folk Forest School, Boulder, CO
"Love the story and my supporting role in it. So sweet that our connections around gardening and our love for nature over many years inspired you to include me." Grandpa Russ, BC, Canada
“We have loved reading Christine’s book. My 3 year old daughter is fascinated with the pictures and always wants me to wait to turn the pages so she can gaze at them longer. She loves the texture of the felted images and will rub them with her fingers trying to feel the softness of the wool. I love how the pictures have just the right amount of detail yet it leaves room for the imagination. The story brings such a feeling of wholeness and warmth. I love the simplicity of how the family celebrates the seasons and the holidays. It reminds us all how the ordinary world can be filled with magic if we just take the time to slow down and notice. This book is a great addition to any family library and I know it will be cherished for years to come in my home.”
Orien. M., mother and Waldorf Early Childhood teacher, Niwot, CO
"I love the illustration of George hugging Gus and how they appear so united as one being in their togetherness. I also love the part of the story where Gus is adorned, like an altar, and the beautiful two page spread illustrating this at the end. Worshipping the tree and seeing the togetherness of all creatures." Carolyn. W. O., CO, mother, counsellor @ Mountain Voice Health