Some of the folks who I speak with on a regular basis would probably label me as an environmentalist. Whether that’s true or not isn’t up for discussion, but i suspect that those people would probably, if asked to name names, would probably add me to a list of individuals who would be likely to have planted trees. Well, they’d all have been wrong until this week.
I hadn’t ever planted a tree that I can remember. And on Friday I was asked to plant one by a guy that I was working for. Planting a tree is pretty simple, but the experience was much more interesting than just getting my fingernails dirty. My tree had been sitting in a bucket of water since Arbor Day, waiting for somebody to stick it into the ground. As i knelt in the dirt, my knees feeling the rainwater soaking through my jeans, I dangled the roots of my little tree into the hole I’d dug. Pouring a little of the water from the bucket, I then broke apart some of the dirt clod I’d pulled out of the ground to make the hole, dumping the clumps back into the hole around the tree… and that’s when it happened.
The tree I was placing would likely be in the place where I left it for many many years. Hopefully not, but perhaps, more years than I would be around. And so what I had done, but pushing this sapling into the dirt I had been to give the tree a place to operate. What I had realized, in a sort of strange and powerful way, was that the tree I was placing was more like a program. I didn’t write the program, but I certainly helped to execute it. I’d clicked on the button that would build a cherry tree.
This cherry tree machine will take a while to compile itself. But it will eventually make itself into a large stack of cells, rings of bark and limbs and leaves and fruiting bits. Beautiful petals. I’d made a permanent mark on the world that wouldn’t be realized for many years. This program will run continuously until it dies or is incapacitated by an axe or a saw.
Maybe it’s not that interesting, but I certainly enjoyed the experience. I highly recommend this experience to anybody interested.