Grow the future

Ever wish you had a crystal ball (or fortune-telling fish) to help you see into the future? What if you didn’t need super powers of prognostication — what if the future were already in your hands?

Living on this concrete island, we don’t often think about the simple, ancient tools that can shape the world in a lasting way. But if you take a deep breath and look around, you won’t need to guess what the future will bring … you’ll just bring it.

Seeds were purchased from, maybe the most accommodating vendor we’ve ever worked with on these mailings.

Step One

The seeds in your hands are those of the white spruce native to North America. Adult trees can be trimmed as hedges or let loose to reach up to the sky.

First soak your seeds in water for 24 hours. Then poke your finger in soil just 1/8-inch deep, drop in a seed, cover, and mulch.

If you can’t make up your mind where to plant, you can keep the seeds in your refrigerator for as long as a year.

<img src="×160.png" alt="" title="HOL2011-step2" width="160" height="160" class="alignleft size-medium wp-image-1126" srcset="×160 you could look here.png 160w,×80.png 80w, 185w” sizes=”(max-width: 160px) 100vw, 160px” />Step Two

Once you’ve picked a spot and sowed your seed, you’ll need to check in from time to time to make sure your sapling has what it needs: water, drainage, and sunshine. Not much else to it.

White spruce will grow between 12 and 18 inches a year until reaching a mature height of around 50 feet. Ten years from now, you should have a tree about twice as tall as you are.

Looking back … looking forward …

It is undoubtedly an appropriate week for retrospection. We suggest, respectfully, that means it’s also a good time to talk about our future.

What’s in store for us ten years from now? Go ahead, close your eyes. See the robot shop-keepers returning your dry-cleaning in compostable shrink-wrap? Can you look up movie times on the backs of your eyelids? Has Corlears Hook been reclaimed by a warm and rising East River?

Maybe, maybe not. But there are some details about the future that we already know, and they’re worth looking forward to.

Like the Taxi of Tomorrow — anti-bacterial seats, sliding doors and sunroofs, along with power outlets for charging your gizmos. Did you know the new yellow cabs will come equipped with an exterior “horn light” to cut down on honks?

Or think of the new skyline that’s already taking shape. Towers planned for Brooklyn and Queens will become the highest points in those two boroughs. The dense collection of skyscrapers in midtown is marching west to the Hudson. And what’s finally rising in lower Manhattan, of course, will become new icons for our vertical city.

And then there’s the way each of us can shape the future ourselves. You won’t need a seer to show you the way, just your own vision and work and care. May it come from your hands in the dirt or your fertile imagination, September 2021 is yours to create.

— The Team at Macktez