We needed to clear a small patch of ground for a patio that we'll get done sometime between this lifetime and the next, and while scurrying around like woodchucks, I ripped out a black cherry seedling, and, for whatever reason, sniffed the roots.
I do not know what I expected, but I did not expect the round, deep cherry-almond aroma overwhelming the earthy soil smell.
We both took turns sniffing the roots, like two children in the garden that once was. Under the hypnotic cherry-almond roundness was a hint of something uncertain, unnerving, yet still compelling.
Sugar and cyanide linked together in a compound with a bitter, incomprehensible allure
I am pulled to amygdalin, always have been--I chew on apple seeds with abandon, will gnaw on a peach pit for literally hours, have since childhood.
I plan to take some black cherry roots back to school. Maybe I'll draw the symbol for amygdalin on the board, maybe I'll bore the class with a minute or two on the life history of a tree native to Bloomfield, and then I'll pass around the root shavings.
For the younger among us, what do you think you would remember 5 decades from now?