Yesterday, we planted a cedar tree in the meadow as a memorial to Ashley. We chose a Thuja plicata, the California gold variety, which has bright gold new leaves that age to dark green. The yellow-gold tips are reminiscent of the color of Ashley's hair and the dark green looks beautiful against the backdrop of red clay and golden dry grass in the meadow.
In the late afternoon, Ashley's cedar stands in the shadow of the pine tree we planted in memory of Danny, Cindy's brother, who died in 2002. Danny's tree has grown a lot and has the cutest little pine cones this year. Cindy says that the tree reminds her of Danny because it is tall and skinny with sparse needle production. Ashley's tree, on the other hand, is small but full.
In many traditions, the cedar is regarded as sacred. For instance, in some indigenous cultures of America and for the Celts and ancient Hebrews, it was regarded as the tree of life and a bridge between worlds. To North American Indians up near Lake Superior, the cedar is seen as a symbol of femininity. We think the California gold cedar is a fitting tribute to Ashley.