Daily Draw December 15th, 2008
From the Tree Affirmation Cards:
MAGIC – HORSE CHESTNUT
Oh that’s weird. Last night right before going to bed we saw a Christmas cookery show showing different recipes with chestnuts. I asked my husband if our chestnut tree would ever get nuts and he said you can’t eat them, they aren’t the same kind. We have a Horse Chestnut tree, all the edible chestnuts seem to be Italian, and we did have many such trees in Canada, but they were wiped out by disease in the early 20th century. Horse chestnuts make great conkers, but you can’t eat them. Well, you can, but they are semi-poisonous and your stomach and intestines will be very sorry. I never knew that.
We planted some horse chestnuts 20 years ago from a large tree in the yard of the house in town that used to be the veterinarian’s property. One has taken hold in one of our perennial gardens. I suppose we should have moved it, but the birch beside it died so I was reluctant to lose a tree there.
The little boy on the card is obviously very keen on picking some chestnuts and using them as conkers. I hadn’t heard about conkers until I met my husband, who is from the U.K. Maybe the “magic” referred to on the card is the magic of childhood imagination. I can’t imagine that bashing a chestnut on a string with another chestnut on a string (which is what the game with conkers entails) would be the epitome of childhood games, but many boys love it, and speak of playing conkers with some affection.
For me, the magic is in the leaves and shade of the horse chestnut tree. They are beautiful.
I am rather embarrassed to say that one day in the summer when my husband was out, I went to the back of our property with the dogs and we stood under a maple tree and I patted its bark. I would have hugged it, but the neighbours could see me, and. . .I was embarrassed. I just wanted to stand there and smell the earth and feel the air for a bit.
We planted that tree after buying it for $1 in the bargain section of a nursery. The property did not have trees in the back garden and we didn’t have the money for a nice $70 specimen so we planted this fellow. I will never forget the minutes I spent with that tree last summer. The dogs fell down to smell the air and enjoy the faintly musty scent of the boggy pond, and I just stood there wondering why in all the season I hadn’t brought a chair back here and sat and sketched under this tree.
Yes, the booklet for the deck mentions the magic of the moment. The magic of each day and each project, each season, each tree different in each season, each year.
The present moment makes wonderful memories. I vow to sketch my horse chestnut tree, which is only about three feet high at the moment, but would love to share a present moment with me on a quiet day.