How I got here.
Most of us rarely end up where we thought we were going. No amount of planning really helps us. And so the currents that affect our life are not to be resisted. Rather, they must be embraced and navigated. This is opportunity. And so it is with my life working with trees.
I've always had an affinity with the natural world. One of my first jobs was working at a small herb garden in Brookings, Oregon where I kneaded soil in my hands and harvested lavender and hydrangea for wreaths, tincture and floral arrangements.
Next, I’d try my time at landscaping. Digging in the coastal rain, laying stone and planting cypress trees for the entry of oceanside homes. Muddy and wet with seabirds calling above and waves breaking in the distance, I felt right about what I was doing.
Even my down time was spent along the the banks of the Chetco River under spicy scented myrtle trees and skirting along peaks in the Siskiyou National Forest.
Over the next couple decades I’d get employed in a firewatch tower alone in the wilderness for weeks at a time, my conversation with that of insects and cumulus clouds. I led crews on exhausting reforestation projects where the will to work sometimes seemed to evaporate with the morning fog. I fell timber and cut roads for timber sales where the ground was so steep one project was called Hole in the Ground. Then one day I found out I could get paid to climb trees.
Young, ambitious and seeking danger I moved to Portland to take on an apprentice position with a local tree service.
Fast forward 20 years and thousands of tree care projects later, here I am. Doing my own business helping trees.
I’m a dad of two daughters that both want nothing to do with the tree care business. Good for them. They have their own path and passions to stumble into.
And that sorta sums it up. Sometimes where we are going is right into our passion and we didn’t know it. Here I am. And when I'm not in a tree I'm often writing poems. You can find some of them at zigward.com
Thanks for stopping by.