“An alder tree can’t become an oak at will. A maple can’t pick up its roots like legs, and stride, step by powerful step, along the shore to find the sun. And everything that ever said otherwise–all those years of school, and the plays and moving pictures that promise you can be someone else, something more—they were all lies.” —Emily Whitman
These are the leaves of black alder, which is native to Europe, Northern Africa, and Western Asia. It is an invasive species now, but its leaves and bark was used by early settlers to help with sore throat, bleeding, swelling, and fever. Every walk through the woods reminds me that man has over complicated life. It is better to find peace among the alders than fake peace among the skyscrapers.