Friday, January 27, 2006


The other side of the creek brought no change in landscape. Rubber trees stood in line like soldiers waiting for their marching orders. We could barely see the sky through the leafy canopy above.

The way the trees were planted reminded me of driving the backroads of south Georgia, where pecan and peach trees dominate the landscape, planted single-file in the same way. It's funny how we process things. It's like we have a filter in our brains that takes any sensation with remote familiarity and automatically links it to home.

If we lived in Yunnan our entire lives, rubber trees would be common, nothing more than monuments to the mundane. I couldn't help but think that if these workers found themselves trekking through a pecan orchard on the plains of south Georgia, they would think wistful thoughts of the rubber trees back home in Yunnan, planted in rows, providing shade from the summer sun and food for the kitchen table.

Even halfway across the world, I couldn't forget about where I come from.

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