Years ago, Sara Sanders fell in love with an old cedar tree in Everett, Washington – actually, the 110-year-old Cedrus Libani was the main reason for buying the house. the tree had been growing the yard for over a century.
The relentless passage of time, however, took its toll on the old beauty, and several years later the tree started losing its limbs; at some point, its condition deteriorated to the point where the city declared it a safety hazard and had it condemned.
Sanders was absolutely devastated.
That’s when Larry Carter, a woodcarving wizard stepped up to the plate. For years Sanders was interested in small community libraries where neighbors can exchange books for free – the like that have been spawning across the United States and Europe in recent years.
She tasked Larry with turning the trunk, which was by then affectionately called The Sanders Cedar, into a haven for book-lovers. Although Carter had never carved a library out before, he did a treemendous job.
“Have a look – take a book” became the neighborhood motto, and Sara is delighted whenever she sees a person rummaging through the little library from her window.
Larry didn’t charge a penny for his work. Instead, he has taken all the remaining wood and distributed it among fellow woodcarvers. The fifty or so remaining pieces were then carved into birds, bears, fish and flowers and proudly displayed at the annual Evergreen State Fair.
Larry also regularly gives the new library his own personal touch, by creating new signs commemorating important events such as the “Thank a Vet” sign for Veterans’ Day.
Sara Sanders admits she never really got over the fact that the tree had to die. On the other hand, she is over the moon that the Sanders Cedar continued to live and serve a purpose in a different guise – because what is more symbolic than all those books coming back to live in the body similar to the one they were created from? Beautiful!