April 19, 2022
Deforestation is ramped in my community. We’re located about 25 miles north of New York City. Now, I have nothing against cutting down trees. Trees provides people when they’re standing and when they’re lying on the ground.
“Growing up” in Chestnut Ridge was a blessing. We lived on a lake, and during the summers, I fished with my friend Matthew all day, everyday. The lake is surrounded by a healthy forest, comprised mostly of beech, maple, and oak trees.
What I didn’t realize luckily as a child was that this place, this wonderful home, was in fact an oasis.
When you drive, or walk, or ride a bike through our town today, you can see signs like,
“Coming soon! A new school!”, and “We want you to shop here, in the soon-to-be, newest plaza!”
The signs could read instead, “Coming soon, an expansion of the concrete world into your no longer protected oasis.”
Now, I am learning that it can be damaging to one’s own psyche to put labels such as “good” and “bad” onto your environment. I’m sure the plaza and the school will offer new light in some way to Chestnut Ridge. After all, New York State is covered in 61% forest! That should mean that in every 10 towns, six of them should be completely forested.
So, what I do on the first day of Spring in 2022? How did I show my love and gratitude for our home?
I planted with my friend, 150 fruit and nut trees!
My friend, Jesse, who owns a landscaping company called the Freedom Forest, supplied us with young, hybrid chestnuts, hybrid hazelnuts, and black and English walnuts.
We had a blast. In one lush spot with the most beautiful and dark soil, we planted about 75 trees. We were calling out to each other in smiles, “Hey, check out this soil!”
I was certainly tired after this event, and I didn’t need to go to the gym afterwards. My hands were crusted and blackened. My head and heart was filled with imaginative wonderings of nuts falling to the ground for a thousand years to come.
There isn’t good and bad in this world. There is just good.