It’s been a lonely year for Diana Rose. At 70, the Santa Rosa artist knows she is at high risk for the deadly coronavirus. So she mostly stays at home, visiting friends and family only online. But each night before bed she makes it a spiritual practice to name at least five things she’s grateful for.
Chief among them? The trees and her childhood memories. During these solitary times, Rose frequently visits the Santa Rosa places where she grew up — the Grace Tract, Proctor Terrace, the leafy streets around McDonald Avenue — to touch the trees, to walk under them or sometimes just to park her car and observe them through her window.
They conjure happy memories of her childhood. Some of the same trees she passed on those streets on her way to school or to play are still there more than 60 years later, taller, broader and even more beautiful.
“Like the trees in front of Proctor Terrace School — I started going there when I was 6 years old. That was 1956,” Rose recalled of the line of liquidambars with their fiery star-shaped autumn leaves. “The trees there had just been planted and they were my height then. I like to just look at them now. Little things like that keep me centered to the earth.”
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