On our family trip to Seattle this summer we visited the Weyerhauser Bonsai Garden. Its said to be the best collection in the Pacific Northwest. I think my uncle (a fellow enthusiast) and I could have spent a week there. The trees had labels indicating the original artist, species, age, etc. Some were several hundred years old (one claimed over 900 years!). It seems impossible, but in reality its just a matter of faithfulness. These trees are living connections between generations of caretakers who have pruned, repotted, fed and watered them with care. They refer to the majesty of nature but also tell a quiet story of generations of nurture. Its a very civilized sort of endeavor. It puts my brief life and meager collection of young trees into proper perspective.