by Claire J. Baker

[dropcap]L[/dropcap]eaders of my Unitarian-Universalist Church originated a project for members and church friends to create a Mosaic Tree from shards of our lives. We created this tree so we can blend our brokenness in a safe communal setting over three sessions of leaf-making, and thereby realize the commonality of pain in our lives.

“Mosaic Tree.” This Tree of Life was created by members of the Unitarian-Universalist church. John Kelly photo

The broken pieces serve as symbols of pain that remains or once was, that we can revisit together and even rise above as needed for healing. To assure success, a professional Mosaic Tree artist, Ms. Kim Larson, provided blank leaf shapes which we covered with our shards, and with colorful pieces Larson had provided.
Our completed Mosaic Tree is affixed to the kids’ Skytown Building outside wall at the right end of our building’s main entrance. It fascinates as a reminder of what can be accomplished by a full-spectrum of people working together toward a worthwhile cause.
When it storms, this tree will hold fast to its roots. Raindrops can resemble tears. And like tears, they will one by one dry.

To see this communal creation at the top of Moeser at Arlington in El Cerrito, follow church signs to the Unitarian-Universalist parking lot, near the Mosaic Tree walkway and wall. You may be healed in wonder. This tree inspired the following original poem, entitled “Glue.”


(for our Mosaic Tree)

by Claire J. Baker

All of us are damaged
but we can link together
in our brokenness.
In sorting shards
fingers may get cut.
Blood, mutually shared,
comes in terrific colors —
vermilion for vulnerable,
pink for possibility,
red for scared, then sacred.
The glue that holds us
together, as lightly applied,
seeks rough edges,
binds a brighter stone
with a darker one;
holds leaves to limbs,
limbs to our tree.
We  Are  Family.