Monday, April 21, 2008

Looking forward to decrepitude

There's something about planting a tree that makes you feel good about the future. Despite the dire predictions of global catastrophe, and the increasing likelihood that nothing will be done to avert the worst, (at least not if recent polls showing Americans remain largely apathetic about the threat are correct), you plant a tree and you feel that somehow everything's going to be all right. Planting 80 trees, however, is a bit of lunacy that leaves most sane people quaking in their boots. Not this boy, though, for whom staring into the dark cavern of bodily and mental failure from now on means getting one day closer to the sight of spreading apple trees putting out their lovely and life-giving fruit. The setup for grafting involved receiving shipment of scion wood (varieties including Northern Spy, Starkey, Liberty, Canadian Strawberry, Black Oxford, Cox's Orange, Keepsake, etc. ) and root stock - Antonovka standards - splicing them together with bench grafts, and wrapping up the work with protective plastic tape and a coating of emulsion. Nothing beyond the skills of anyone with experience of any sort of manual work and a minimum of dexterity with a whittling knife. Now they sit in the nursery bed through the summer, fall and winter to be planted into their permament locations out in the old cow pasture next year.

Speaking of eternal optimism, just caught the end of a Michael Moore interview on Canadian radio where he endorses Obama and expresses disgust at the turn of the Democratic primary. All i can say is what did anyone expect? This is a competition for the most pwerful position on the globe, and when push comes to shove the gloves will come off. Any of the three candidates you would think would put America back on track after the disaster of the Bush years. For the teenagers I teach, this is all heady stuff, but for me, I am tending my trees and thinking of The Who. I get on my knees and pray...we don't get fooled again.