I am constantly surprised by the sheer abundance of the natural resources here. It is embarrassing to keep having such an unsophisticated and romantic reaction to something as banal as trees but it's really something to see. My impression of forests growing up was that they were quickly being depleted, to a paltry 3% in my native Kenya at that time. Once, driving across the Kenyan-Ugandan border, I was stricken at the difference in the landscapes - Uganda's luscious greenery and well-fed livestock offering a stark contrast to Kenya's arid semi-desert and it's prehistoric looking Zebu cattle.
Juxtaposed to this memory of a less bountiful land, is the thought of the people who were at one time forced to turn this dense boscage into farmable fields. I think it was James Baldwin that had recorded having felt that this fertile red Georgia earth had gotten its color from the blood dripping down from these trees.
And here I am, an embodiment of contradictions and complicated convergences, empowered and frightened by this history that predates me and excited to see what my contribution to this narrative will be.