Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Leaves and things.

Brian Smith and I were at Begick’s to pick up the trees Lori had purchased for the 500 block of Millard and we took our time wending through the plants – touching this leaf and that – and comparing gentle notes on the people we mutually knew and cared about. We talked about the need for watering and nourishing, how some things transplant better than others, how some respond to a little adjustment of light or location more than others.

We were joined back at the houses by Gary and Rick in the planting of a maple in front of 519 and two liquid amber trees – sweet gums they’re called up here – for the opposite side of the street. Bryan helped plant the weeping birch Roderick and I bought for our yard and Rick helped plant a couple hundred daffodils in the mostly-round penny park where Owen, Sheridan and Millard meet.

The world grew bigger by four trees and so many bulbs that day and bits of the conversation with Brian drifted through my mind as we worked. After a time it became apparent that most people and plants were alike: They had very simple needs and could all be beautiful when given the proper amount of care. The trick was observing them, quietly and neutrally, and discerning what that amount might be…

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