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Retreat Into Memory of Trees

Sugar Cookies
Sugar Cookies

Anthony Sells built the first sawmill in Big Grove Township in 1839. There were a lot of nearby trees, hence the name. Things changed.

Farm fields, and eventually subdivisions, replaced the Oak-Hickory forest. Except for the state park and a few scattered parcels, the change has been decisive and permanent.

Memory of trees persists as a place to retreat during the end of year holidays.

Like during much of our lives, food is a holiday consideration — special menus using favorite recipes. We secured fresh cranberries, oranges, Gold Rush apples, sweet potatoes, broccoli, cookie ingredients, apple cider, and a frozen cherry pie from the orchard for the season. Yesterday’s purchases included dark roasted Sumatran coffee (Arabica beans), 64 fluid ounces of half and half for ice cream, special crackers and cream cheese. Planned recipes include cranberry sauce, shortbread cookies, apple crisp, and wild rice. It’s a lot of food for a special meal tomorrow. We’ll eat leftovers for days.

There is more to life than food.

That’s where the camera fades to black and a window into my life is obscured.

The idea of old trees now gone provides solace. Outside living memory, there is no going back to the time before Sells’ sawmill. For most who live here, it is already forgotten.

On this ground we make our own history. Because it lives today, it dominates our outlook and activities. The recipe is not specific and we challenge today what we did yesterday in hope of a better tomorrow.

There is something about the trees. Some linger as Sells’ lumber in structures in the nearby town. What matter more is the idea here was once a different ecosystem. One has to ask, “will what we replaced it with be sustainable?”

I’m working to make it so and so should we all.