Our Origin Story

About Two Trees

The Backstory:  In 2015, Reiko and Elena fanned a spark into a flame to launch Pele’s Fire–an annual writing retreat at Kalani Honua, a nonprofit wellness center on the Big Island of Hawaii. Writers came from all parts of the U.S. to fire up their imaginations and fuel their words. After three amazing retreats, however, a volcanic eruption encircled, then closed, our Big Island home. We have taken our time finding a new site that would nourish and nurture creative writers in a similar environment, but before we could settle on a new physical location, a global pandemic shut down the traveling world.

The New Story: The universe was speaking; we stopped to listen. We asked our questions: How might we keep nurturing the writing community we had inspired? How could we continue to provide writers with ways to develop and connect? What was the best way to move all of us forward together? We were ready to transform, but what alchemy was required? The answer came to us through a Shining Tribe Tarot reading.

Our Name (Why Two Trees?): “Pele’s Fire” paid tribute to the Hawaiian culture and traditions on the island where Reiko grew up, and directly supported the local community through the nonprofit center where we convened. As we sought a new name to move forward, we asked the Shining Tribe Tarot deck for direction and we were given the card of The Place of Trees. The card envisions a sanctuary, a spiritual home for passion and creativity; a place where two trees—The Tree of Life and The Tree of Knowledge—grow beside and also inside one another; a place that offers a sanctuary, a sacred grove of the heart; a place where we can feel our lives flourish as writers; a place where writers can feel rooted. 

The two trees on the Tarot card reminded us of the forest bathing experiences our new collaborator Sherri L. Smith  shares with writers. It recalled the Taiwanese saying Reiko’s partner grew up with that “two trees make a forest,” and a recent science that shows how trees support each other with a hidden network under the earth, sharing health and nourishment. It became clear that the Place of Trees Tarot card was not a metaphor, but the gift of a name. Thus, Two Trees was born.

Our Vision: The mentors of the Two Trees Writers Collaborative are established writers and teachers united by our intuitive approaches, and inspired by unconventional ways of nurturing writers and creatives in their own development and growth. We are a community that has a writer’s process at its root – which means you.  Whether you are looking for a collective experience or an individualized one, Two Trees offers you an ongoing connection to yourself and to other writers in both the virtual and the physical world.