A Memory

Trees in the backyard

In the back of the yard of one of our houses in Zwolle were three horse chestnuts. They were rather young trees, and probably came up by themselves, as they were too close together really. But they made a wonderful perch. To us it seemed like we were high above the world, hidden from view, but able to see all. The fence and gate of the high school was right behind our yard, but in the trees we could look over the fence. (Later I went back once, and realized that that fence was about 5 ft high). In the spring these trees bloomed profusely, with beautiful white candles, and in the fall we had many chestnuts. We would make puppets with chestnuts, acorns and matchsticks.

There was also a large beech tree in the backyard. In the fall the ground would be covered with beechnuts. I can still taste the tangy, nutty taste and remember the thrill of finding good ones, as most of the nuts would either not contain a fruit, or were already emptied by birds. But then: the birds need to live too!

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