The curiosities we collect, the items we turn back for and those we’ll drive cross country to pick-up. Each issue a different writer tells us what’s in their trunk.
My 70-year-old uncle had to help me lift the slice of redwood into the boot. Even the thickest, hardest part of the bark felt as soft as a rug, wrapping up the sapwood which had been patterned by the trails of Powderpost beetles. As we flipped the roundel into the car, I imagined the moment the tree had seeded itself in the loamy soil of Monterey County. Back then, this coastline would have been empty: forests falling into the ocean. And nothing else. It had taken me 35 minutes or so driving north to figure out that I’d wanted us all to drive back and pick up the wood.
When I got it home, I sanded it, and rubbed it with Danish oil. For a smidgen of time, it was a cutting board for bread, albeit a heavy one that you couldn’t really move. Now it sits under the ladder from the loft piled up with some books, including one that I just finished reading called “The Man Who Made Things out of Trees.”