Concord transplant is growing roots

By Sharon Reidy

I would like to thank you, your staff and fellow visionaries for the wonderful, first issue of “The Concord Bridge” I received yesterday. The photography and articles were very interesting and made me appreciate the town of Concord all the more.

Having been transplanted here three years ago rather unexpectedly from Bedford, I have been slowly learning more about the town, some of its personal history, and its environmental concerns (which I wholeheartedly support!) So I loved reading Mr. Kerr’s write-up on the Concord River, a river which holds memories for me, too, as it runs through the northwest side of Bedford. I also enjoyed Ms. First’s essay concerning the beloved “Old Yellowwood” that attracts such life to her family’s yard and her encouragement of the use of native plants in our landscaping, which I also see as important to the health and vitality of our ecosystems, and so our communities.

In support of this concern, I would share an example from my own life. As a young adult, I read quite a bit about native plants, spent time learning about those in my environment and how to use them medicinally. From this, I experimented with “Sweetfern,” which is a small shrub with fern-like leaves with a leathery feel that give off a pleasing fragrance when broken. One tends to find it in waste places with sandy soils, so I suspect it has special properties that allow it to thrive in places affected by intense solar or other radiation.

Natives used this plant medicinally for skin problems, including poison ivy. Long ago, I was taught in summer camp to rub the leaves of this plant on my skin after touching poison ivy, as it acts like soap. My dog, who suffered from frequent, distressing bouts of Lyme Disease, benefited greatly from my simply soaking a paw in a tea made from these leaves. She would perk up and regain more energy and vitality afterwards.

Finally, I thank you for the articles on the new trolley, which I had noticed recently and was already curious about, and the write up on Thoreau and Emerson, whose ideas are still new to me. How wonderful the local museum plans to incorporate some of these local greats in their exhibits. In fact, I have quite fallen in love with Emerson through his bust in the library. He has such a kind, benevolent, intelligent look, that I would like to learn more about his ideas and their influence on this community. Surely one can embrace principles of this transcendentalism while remaining true to one’s religious faith?

So, good luck with your worthy endeavor. I pray others recognize the importance of a good, dependable, not-too-biased source of local news and information — and support your efforts as well.

Thanks!

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