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Michelle Yasmine Valladares  –India/Kuwait/USA–

Michelle Valladares face and logo 2015

The Book of Trees How to tell chestnut from sycamore or rowan from beech or fir? Walking with my head buried in the book of trees, I fail the test of cluster of five leaves, mottled edge, berries or long pod. The Scots have river, firth, burn, loch and sea.

I know Sahara and Sonora, the desert dust and storm, the Atlantic swells and Pacific’s

crashing surf. I learned to swim in the shallows of the Arabian Gulf, spent summers near the Indian Ocean.

In the cool air and light of a Scottish trail, I hear my father-in-law’s voice, copper beech, chestnut and lime, a river running backwards, a yew tree older than the churchyard. Is it memory that we gain or remembering what we once knew whispered, before the fairy tale and childhood rhyme?


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