by Russell Aaronson
When I first moved onto West Sixty-Eighth Street, we had a very active block association, and every year in springtime, we would have our annual block party; they called it: The Best of the West. One year, I think it was 1976, the proceeds of one particular block party, purchased several infant trees as they were planted sporadically up and down the street. Four of those trees were planted in front of my building (#19), two on one side, and two on the other. For years, all of us were so very careful not to have the dogs do their business on the infant trees, and when the trees started growing into their adolescence, we took further proceeds and made sure that the Arborists would come annually and prevent the beetles from feeding upon the leaves. Now, thirty-three years later, the trees have become adults, and their branches have finally reached up to my fifth floor apartment window. When I look out, especially in the morning hours, the branches that are slightly swaying in the wind, practically butt up to my window, and provide a temporary stopover for all types of birds with all types of chirping sounds. What a delight to have this natural sound and backdrop just a window away from my morning glory. It too is a delight for my kitten, Ms. Mittens, who dreams every morning of sprouting wings so that she might take flight in the hopes of catching one of these winged musical creatures; these very dreams are what prompted window screens so to quell that kitten’s ambition.