“The Forest Floor”
It was Grandma Wilson who first made us aware of the black treasure
lying in the woods. She was a slight wisp of a lady with twinkling
eyes and an infectious smile. It was her custom to select one
child at a time and invite them to a breakfast of poached eggs
floating in butter and soda bread. It was one spring day, in
this foregone era, that Grandma Wilson summoned us. She dispatched
us to the woods with specific instructions to harvest her treasure.
We were to remove the top 4 inches of naturally accumulated,
decomposing leaves, twigs, bird droppings and any other organic
debris and reveal the forest floor for her black treasure to
We once walked in similar woods with an
archeologist, showing him colonial root cellars. He told us that
under the conditions of the forest floor we were walking on,
it would take 100 years to accumulate 1 inch of topsoil. So precious
is this topsoil that land developers pile it up with bull dozers
then cut it with inexpensive sub-soil. So
precious that conservationists all over the globe are trying to protect
it. So precious that I bet there are even grandmothers today that
cherish it, harvest it and use it as a prized potting soil.
still eat poached eggs swimming in butter and always, always
think of Grandma Wilson when we do, and smile at what she inspired.
Brent and Shawn