In my house on Malawi Close I keep my front door open in the evenings, with the security gate barred and locked, allowing breezes to travel through the house.
For the first few days as I walked from the bedroom to the kitchen first thing in the morning I would see little pieces of plastic on the floor, and annoyed and mystified, I would think to myself ‘how the heck are little pieces of plastic getting in my house? Who is shredding plastic and littering? Who is getting is my house?’ I would pick them up, one or two each day, and toss them in the garbage.
Then I looked closer. Oh mother nature, you are a marvel. They are seeds. They are seeds wrapped in a thin, thin, delicate, plastic-like enclosure, carried on the wind. They were foreign, but they were familiar.
Kenmore, New York where I was born and raised was famous for its maple lined streets. The maple trees grew together from each side of the street, making every street in Kenmore a green canopy of majestic trees. With maple trees, come seeds. What are the seeds? We called them spinners. Other people called them helicopters. What would Kenyans think seeing spinners falling to the ground, strange seeds spinning as they descend, covering the sidewalks, blowing into homes, strange seeds from unknown trees?
My new Kenyan discovery, my plastic seeds, are from unknown trees. I don’t know what they are called, or what planting one would grow. But they sparkle in the sun, light and airy, catching my eye, making me look, as they seek the earth and new life. They are not numerous, but they find their way into my house.
They are Kenyan spinners.