Doin’ the Ginkgo Dance

I’ve danced it. Have you? The first time I realized those innocent looking fruit-like balls on the sidewalk emitted an unpleasant odor, I found myself surrounded by them with no place to step. My feet moved with frenzied fancy footwork trying to avoid them. Lesson learned…look ahead on the path, especially in autumn; ginkgo seed season. During my walk today I was reminded of this experience as I sidestepped a few flattened, naked seeds.

Ginkgo biloba, also known as Maidenhair Tree, is an ancient plant native to China, and the word ‘ginkgo’ means ‘silver apricot’. This beautiful tree is a living fossil dating from several hundred million years ago. Although it produces seeds which are messy and emit a foul odor, the ginkgo’s seeds and leaves are used in medicine throughout the world. It is also a hardy tree that can endure the stresses of city life including pollution, cramped spaces, and drought.

It’s important for me to remind myself that there are unpleasant moments in life which will never go away. But usually there is something beautiful, good and pleasant on the other side. I’ll just hold my breath and dance away.

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