Here in Sebastopol, where I live, someone loves driving around in his pick-up with a huge American flag attached to its bed. So far as I know he does it every day. I suppose he is making a statement about his patriotism.Every week on the main corner here in town for years two groups face off, one loudly “supporting our troops” the other more quietly supporting peace.The first waves flags and to my mind, sadly the second group generally does not, giving the first a visual advantage they do not deserve.
Among people with more progressive sympathies patriotism has gotten a bit of a bad rap by being equated with those who talk the most aggressively about it, and shove their views in everyone’s face.It’s rather like religion getting a bad rap because of the excesses of those who make the most noise about it.I think this is too bad.Patriotism is a complicated emotion and a complicated commitment, but it is very real for most of us.
There is an apple tree on our family homestead that is about as old as my mom (80-90 years). The apples are thin skinned and yellow, but pleasantly tart and flavorful, and are perfect apple for sauce or baking. I’ve made more than one trip up to Maine specifically to catch the apples for sauce. Wasting them seems like sacrilege.
The tree grows out of the center of the stone wall the borders the property and has been becoming more and more top heavy while the trunk rots. Apple trees are very tough. As long as one thin strip of bark remains intact, the tree will continue to bare fruit. It needs only sun. Unlike annual vegetables, one cannot grow an identical apple tree from apple seeds. Apple DNA in the seed is diverse, and every new tree grown from apple seeds will be different.