I didn’t understand tattoos for the longest time. They were a mystery. As my best friend showed me the process she goes through and reasoning behind her tattoos, I started to learn about the culture. Still, I never thought I’d get one myself. I couldn’t think of anything I’d want permanently inked into my skin.
Then one fall I was on a week-long camping trip. It was so relaxing to be out in the woods, especially during my favorite season. The trees were beautiful in the campground and surrounding park. The whole experience just opened my eyes. I went camping so much as a kid. I used to take those camping trips and that time in nature for granted. But once I got married, it became less and less often that I would get to go on a hike, let alone a camping trip. I was walking down the path in the campground, enjoying the gorgeous oak trees and scooting my feet through the fallen leaves. That’s when it hit me: what if I had a leaf tattooed on my foot? It could be a constant symbol of the calm I feel when I’m in the woods and also remind me to go take a hike more often. I decided it would have to be an oak leaf, my favorite tree, in autumn colors.
After thinking about this idea for about four years, I decided to get it. I collected leaf images and pondered exact placement. And it was very important to me to find an artist I liked. My friend let me tag along when she went to get a beautiful lotus tattooed on her ankle and once it was done, I was confident that I’d found the artist who would be able to capture what I wanted for my leaf.
Here are some photos of the tattoo in progress and then finished. It’s healed well, but I need to go back for a touch up in a couple of weeks. There are parts of my skin that didn’t retain the color as well and that was expected. In the overall, I’m very happy with the result and I love having a beautiful piece of nature art with me at all times!