Chinese Chestnuts A Reflection on Sin by Pierce Hibbs

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When my wife and I moved into our house in the early spring, the two trees in the back yard were charming, their trunks splitting and winding like strands of hair, their leaves just beginning to bud. From what we could see, they added allure to the property, which was complemented by the rest of the quiet town. I had taken a few field environmental classes as a high school student, but I couldn't identify what kind of trees they were.

Then came the chestnuts--not the auburn, gem-like spheres you see in glass bowls on the cover of Better Homes and Gardens, but the green, needle-covered threats that hang stealthily above your head when you're mowing the lawn. I didn't give them too much thought while the majority of them clung to the branches, but when they started to fall, they needed to be gathered, and the gathering was painful. Even through leather gloves, you could feel the sharp pricks of the shell if you handled it more firmly than you would an egg. But that wasn't, I came to find, the worst of it.

Posted June 27, 2014 @ 12:38 PM by Robert Brady

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