High in the Ponderosas, I missed the woodlands of my childhood home. The deciduous trees with their fruits and nuts seemed almost like a made up story to me after 10 years in the desert. Sometimes, of an evening, I would find myself in the company of those with whom I shared the trails. I would tell the stories then, of Southern Ohio, Indiana, and Kentucky. Where the trees were different. Where you could hike a mile and see thirty different kinds of trees, not two or three.
I told them about the trees and about the spaces between the trees, how varied
and lush the plant life was. I told them about the Hedge Apples, the
strangest darn thing I ever seen growing on a tree so covered in
thorns you’d think a bird couldn’t land. And Hickory nuts and
hardwoods and Limestone cliffs overlooking the streams. About how we
fished for Bass there, and not Trout, Water Moccasins and them tiny
rattlesnakes that live in the grasses. I told these stories and they
carried me home. Home was a place I never thought I’d see again.