June 23, 2019

I once read a blog post by a mom who was mourning her son’s autism. One of her main complaints was that all he wanted to do all day was stare out the window at trees.

Upon reading that, my reaction was to applaud the kid’s aesthetic taste, approve of how he spends his time, and wish I could afford to do the same.

Why? Well, trees are incredible. It’s something about the way that sunlight filters through leaves as they dance on the wind – ever-changing yet intuitively predictable, captivating yet calming.

As a child, I loved climbing trees. As an adult, I can do more than climb them. A few summers ago, I rented a treehouse for a weekend vacation. Soon after, I was commissioned to create a series of tree paintings.

Maybe that kid will grow up to do even greater things. Maybe not. In any case, I sincerely hope that his family will someday begin to see what he sees.

P.S. I write from my personal experience as an autistic. What I share is not a substitute for advice from an autistic medical professional. Also, some of my opinions have changed since I first wrote them.