Happy Johnny Appleseed Day, With “American Canopy”


At the start of each day, I scan through a series of headlines from a variety of news sources which I have arrive in my email box. Among the news from Washington and London comes my daily snippet from The Old Farmer’s Almanac. (A tradition from my childhood—the Almanac, not the email!)

Today I am reminded it is Johnny Appleseed Day, honoring John Chapman, a native of Leominster, Mass., who introduced apple trees to parts of Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, West Virginia, and Ontario. Though the actual story of this man was as much about religion as apple seeds.

Many years ago I was given the book American Canopy, which looks at the history of our nation from the vantage point of trees. As a lover of history, this fresh concept of history written with such feeling and devotion by Eric Rutkow fully grabbed my attention. I not only thoroughly enjoyed the book but have bought it for a number of friends for gifts at holidays or when they needed a pick-me-up.

The portion of the book concerning the man of the day offers an aspect to Chapman I had not known before. His deep faith in a fringe aspect of Christianity is truly interesting. So I pulled my book off the shelves today and snapped a few pics of paragraphs that I trust intrigue my readers.

Amid all the headlines of pain and suffering from Eastern Europe might this be a bit of tonic for the soul. Living life in a good way will be long recalled.

And so it goes.

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