Wednesday, May 19, 2010


When it comes to the desire to reproduce, the maple tree in my front boulevard has the Octomom beat by miles. She has been sending thousands of her perfect seeds out to my sidewalks, to my porch, to my newly tilled flower beds and to the lawn. Perfectly weighted, they land flag side up speckling the spring green lawn with a golden straw color. The heavy seed end burrows into thick layers of mulch covering my flower beds. Her efforts to reproduce are easily thwarted. I sweep or rake them off the pavement and porch. The sprouts will be mowed down if they take in the lawn. In flower beds, maple sprouts, like dandelions, are easily recognizable. I love to look at the delicate roots and clinging bits of seed head when I pull them from the ground.

The maple seed has long been my personal symbol for flying creativity. Full of potential and promise, the seed catches the energy of the universe to fly on toward fertile ground. When I am sweeping and raking, I have second thoughts.

Today I noticed that a similar old maple anchors the other end of my block of Fulton Street. Early residents of the area had the prescience to plant maples here when elms were all the rage for boulevards. A week after I bought my house, two of my elms on Oxford Street were cut down due to blight. The third elm has survived. In fact, enough of the old elms have survived in the two or 3 blocks of Oxford south of my house to continue to create a credible canopy over the street. This makes the approach to my house from Lake Street extremely pleasant at this time of the year. My maple punctuates the edge of this canopy.

I have two more reasons to be grateful to the early Eau Clairions who planted the maple tree at this corner. In addition to the late afternoon shade for my porch, she has provided some low hanging shoots of branches that have found their way into some of my sculptures.



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