My trees represent so much more than the metal and beads with which they are made. They represent a new beginning for me. On February 27th, 2017, I didn’t make trees. I taught special ed in Sanford. I’m autistic and worked with autistic children. There was an accident. I was knocked to the floor and unfortunately hit my head on a marble table on the way down. The head injury I sustained left me bed bound for more than a year. I went from being an active, healthy woman, to being a bed bound invalid. As you can well imagine, I became very depressed; thinking my life was over and that I would always be a burden to my family. Then my best friend brought me some wire and showed me a video on how to make a tree. I have always loved trees. I used to spend hours outside in the woods and it was my happy place. Through making that first tree, I slowly started rebuilding my life. Making the trees brought me such joy. I also would have never even tried to make a tree if the accident had not happened. My life wasn’t over, it was just going to be different. Through all the challenges I faced in the rehabilitation from my injury and through all the struggles to accept the things that are lost forever, I made trees. When I started to run out of room for all the trees that I had made, a workman who came to the house asked if I would sell him one for his daughter’s birthday present and the rest as they say is history. I may not be able to be what I was before but I will be the best version of me I can today. Last year was the first year that I could physically go to a craft fair and the Freeport fall festival was the only event I attended. I didn’t know what to expect but I loved it! I didn’t understand that the fall festival committee had children’s activities planned out. I just thought that some of the vendors did a children’s activity. Since I was a teacher (in my former life) and love working with children I decided to do one. We made glow in the dark fairy trees. I will be really excited if I can do that again. I loved the joy on their faces as they made their own tree. If I am accepted this year, I would love to do an official children’s activity making trees. I want to do my part to help bring joy into the world like my trees bring for me. When you look at the pictures of my trees, I hope you can glimpse the sense of wonder I feel as I create them.