Monday, May 07, 2007

Castle Rock




Sometimes the earth gives us odd signals.

We look at ourselves as a mass of worry – polar ice caps melting, exploding people killing with shrapnel and body parts, politicians as fearful as an old woman locked in her house and fearing rape, oil prices that gouge our income while blinding us to the size of the behemoths we drive, our ports vulnerable to terrorists, our food supply at the mercy of an indifferent government, and diseases so apparently rampant that our televisions would go black if the pharmaceutical companies stopped advertising.

Nature laughs at all of that and chides us on our presbyopia. Humans, she knows, are a self-lacerating bunch and far too inward-looking. Look up, she says, look out – over here, see this. My finest work.

A river, thus, goes whooshing by and says don’t try to stop me. I’m as relentless as the sky. Or here – a deep woods rising out of the cornfields, a woods filled with wild turkeys and deer and foxes and skunks and squirrels, along with eastern pine, hickory, ash, maple, oak, sycamore, and walnut trees. A deep forest, the sort that echoes at noon on a windless day.

She says to us, You, I made fallible. You, so arrogant, so obstreperous, so wasteful, may not last. But look here, all around, the relentless river, the endless sky, this lushness that produces a trillion seeds per year. It will go on.

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