Sunday, February 27, 2011

The Meaning of a Tree

There's a Japanese proverb (or an American gardener's rendition of a Japanese proverb) that goes something like this: The best time to plant a tree is twenty years ago. The second best time is now.

Clouding all my thoughts of this year's garden preparation has been some great uncertainty about where our family will be living.

We need to sell our Brooklyn apartment and find more affordable digs, and we've been thinking hard about the possibility of a Hudson Valley move. We've made five house-hunting expeditions there over the last six weeks, swooning over various combinations of spacious home, ample land, and rustic outbuildings. I've been dreaming hard of having an actual honest-to-goodness miniature farm, complete with barn and donkey. This fantasy has one heart-breaking corollary, though: It would mean selling our mountaintop cabin and leaving the magic of this place behind.

But after many late-night discussions, weighing all sorts of factors too boring and personal to recount here, we're now leaning toward finding a new place in Brooklyn. We've made no real decision yet, except one small one: after two months of uncertainty, I've filled out the order form for an apple tree and some bush cherries from the awesome folks at St. Lawrence Nurseries.

For all that the Hudson Valley calls to me, we've put down roots both in Brooklyn and on our breath-taking mountaintop. So I'm going to go ahead and order that tree.

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