Thursday, January 1, 2015

Olives of Gethsemane

For the start of the new year, I thought I'd post some drawings I did near the beginning of last year from my trip to Israel. Outside the walls of Jerusalem lies the Garden of Gethsemane, a grove of ancient olive trees said to be the same trees Jesus prayed beneath the night before his crucifixion.

Whether or not these could really be the same trees is up for debate. The trunks of three of the trees have been dated as old as 1092, 1166, and 1198 CE. Nearly one thousand years old, but not old enough to have witnessed times during the life of Jesus. It is said that when the Romans conquered Jerusalem in 70 AD, they cut down every tree in the area.

But olive trees have a miraculous ability of perseverance and regeneration. Beneath the thousand year old trunks lie even more ancient roots. Some say that the roots may be over two thousand years old.

Olive trees can regenerate themselves from their roots, even after fire, destruction, and decay. Despite the hollow, scarred trunks, the new life in the branches springs from the life of the ancient roots.

Olive branches are a symbol of peace, but also of the essence that survives hardship and renews itself.

So here's to a brand new year, with the possibility of healing, growth, and new life!

Happy 2015! 

For more of Evan Turk's travel illustration, check out the link below: 
Evan Turk Travel Illustration