Thursday, 12 November 2009


It's really windy tonight. My window keeps blowing shut and making a sucking sound. I regularly find birch seeds in my room. I have just found three new ones. I think this is exciting. There are about 10 birch trees in the grassy hill in the middle of the car park outside my window. I walk past two of them on a daily basis and always say hi in my quiet little way. I like to think the seeds are its way of saying hi back.

I wonder if I should feel sad instead. These seeds that blow into my room will not grow up to be big birch trees. Maybe I will plant them in the soil with my calatheas.

How exciting for a seed to ride the wind. As a pod, it feels the wind, is teased by it. It dances on the wind with its many siblings, bound tightly together. But not until they have dried out enough, not until fall, do they get to fly and fly solo, feel the window on every surface.

My first memory of a birch tree is from Robert Frost's poem, Birches ( It wasn't until recently that I realized that I knew a birch tree. One stands in the front yard of the house where my father lives. The first house I lived in. And I have seen plenty of birch trees. I have crumbled their seeds in my hands and let them scatter on the wind.

There's a swing in the birch in front of my father's house. I've spent some time on it. And I've seen a little bit of time in the lowest branches of the tree. It's a very climbable tree. I now wonder if it's good to climb trees or if one should only climb really large trees so as not to do any damage. The cherry blossoms around Washington, DC are regularly damaged by people climbing on them, swinging from them or tramping over their roots. Since I learned that, I've tried to step around roots and have yet to attempt climbing a tree. Still, I'd like to meet the tree that Rob Macfarlane talks about in The Wild Places.

For now, I'll tuck these little birch seeds into the soil and ask the calathea's to watch over them.

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