The beauty of the land near my apartment complex, tucked among sprawling medical buildings and a new bank, can still be found if you look with an eye for the lone tree and all it nourishes. The sugar maple above is a mother tree, probably in the dying phase of life, but none the less still harboring many forms of life in its canopy and beneath its graceful limbs.
One side of my apartment looks out onto Dream Meadows Farm, a 17-acre remnant of once large farms along what is known as Lover’s Lane, or 880. Steadily, development has destroyed the farmland and wild areas to make way for rapid growth. The cooling provided by mature trees, deep grass roots that percolate heavy rain and prevent flooding, and deposits of fertilizer by cattle and sheep are all illustrative on this small farm — the last working farm on the lane. It inspired the draft of a new novel which I am finishing now. It tells the story of a young woman, Belle, who dreams of becoming a regenerative farmer. She learns how to replant native trees in field rows and create orchards. Only 19, her roots on the family farm reach back centuries. She has the long view.
Go out and you will see the beauty of nature between buildings, in back lots, rising under sidewalks and streets, and animal life following these islands of life–navigators in a perilous time.
What have we forgotten? The Dream of the Earth. Reawakening this dream in you is a step toward sustaining life for all.