Ginkgo, not Gingko.

It’s another snow day today, not sure why. The snow stopped early and it’s just another beautiful day. The grade nine student in my house has a ton of homework while the grade eleven student does not which may or may not irritate the grade nine student at times. We are eating leftover cake I made yesterday and looking forward to a long weekend. The older student and I have already done Wordle, as we do every morning. I have argued with children that cake is fine at 9:30 am but candy, perhaps, is not.

I bought myself a ginkgo leaf necklace this week from a local artist on etsy and I love it. Ginkgo trees (or gingko as I just realized I’ve been spelling it as) are old, the oldest tree in existence, dating back as far as the dinosaurs. After the bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, six ginkgo trees survived close to the blast site. They turn a gorgeous bright yellow in the fall and drop fruit that smell like vomit. They are far to old to care what people think of them. The are strong and resilient and just before March 2020, a group of them were planted in the small yard outside my Nana’s window at her retirement home. She watched them all throughout the lock down, telling me how they were almost every day. I have a lot of her jewellery now but I haven’t felt right wearing any just yet. This necklace is perfect, not only is it about her, but by getting something new I feel it’s a step for me, not necessarily forward – I’ve learned grief isn’t linear – but it’s motion for sure.

Ginkgo biloba is sometimes described as a living fossil because it is the sole survivor of an ancient group of trees older that the dinosaurs. It is the only member of its genus, which is the only genus in its family, which is the only family in its order, which is the only order in its subclass. That’s pretty lonely, which is why I think they should be forgiven the fact that its seeds smell like vomit.

Rules for Visiting by Jessica Francis Kane


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