A Natural Obsession
Rain is coming – it was predicted. I can see the way the leaves are bending in the wind and the grey clouds are blowing in from the west that I need to hurry. Shall I go out into the weather or delay until later in the week when the sun dries the ground again. The season is wearing down and I may not get many opportunities before the snows begin. I get into my car and drive to the street where I gather buckeyes, horse chestnuts, the seed pods of the Appalachian Buckeye tree, a few blocks from my home.
Over the last decade I have come to this yard with the blessings of the homeowners where this tree lives to pick the buckeyes off of the lawn. I have scattered them in many vacant fields where the grasses are not mowed in the hope of sprouting some new trees.
A few tiny rain drops cross my windshield as I park the car in front of a house no one lives in, off of a side street. I take my plastic bag, lock the car and walk over to the lawn and start to fill the bag. By the time it is half full the rain is coming down harder and I am thankful to have at least some of the seeds for my next walk to distribute them. I’ve also saved seeds from any peaches, plums, pears and apples that I’ve eaten since my last walk.
Perhaps I am obsessed by the need to plant more trees to help soak up rain water and refresh our breathing air and stave off the floods that every few years sees the Cuyahoga River and the parallel canal spill over their banks damaging nearby businesses.
Imagine my dismay when a large section of land across from the Garfield Heights post office was ruthlessly cleared of all its trees in an effort to sell the land.