In a world where fake news has become indemic, where, at a minimum, it can be challenging to know what is true about so much, Witch Hazel is undeniably both real and true, especially on a sunny day against a blue sky.
I invite President-elect Trump to come stand with me in the midst of this particular plant that is right now in full flower at North Branch Nature Center .
I’d like to talk with him about my family, friends and neighbors, all of us: impressionable young girls and boys; amazing Millennial women and wise middle-aged ones; young men, some still lost and others finding their ways; family members with skin all shades of the rainbow—jet black, beautiful brown, pale white; some are Jewish, devout Catholic, one a Methodist minister, and a handful worship otherwise or not at all in the traditional sense; some of us are straight, and others gay or Lesbian—born that way!—and some fall in between; we are former alcoholics and addicts of one thing or another; and in age range from new babies to old men.
We are diverse,—European, Native American, Chinese, Mexican, Austrian, Swabian and mostly that mix that comes with time; some are unemployed, others working hard, a few of us are retired (and now working in other ways), and there are clock-punchers and entrepreneurs; we range from wealthy to dirt poor but nearly all recognize how rich we are in family and friends; there are beautiful children, damaged by life, who will need substantial care for the rest of their lives and others who have grown up into roles of being care providers; we are Veterans and pacifists; political and not; and, importantly, while a few feel change is needed (even if what seems to have been unleashed fails to represent the best I know of them), there are many more of us who worry deeply what change the next four years will bring.
I would like to sit in the sun in the bright yellow, sweet smell of this Witch Hazel with you, Mr. Trump, and talk about all of this.
Witch Hazel, a magical plant, whose bright yellow blooms are opening now— just as we need a reminder of what is real and true.