I took this photo at The Museum of Appalachia a few years back. Doesn't this guy look like he's posing?
Walking on Outer Drive, I pluck a long white hair (mine) from the front of my black cape. Releasing it to the wind, I watch it drift and settle among the dead leaves, a single cigarette butt and other twiggy debris next to the curb.
As my little dog and I continue, it occurs to me that I have left a strand of my own unique DNA back there by the curb. I guess the anonymous smoker has too: I know from my own Ancestry.com test how much information is likely contained in the traces of spit left on that cigarette butt. And of course, the twigs and leaves, my little dog, the birds, grass and every driver who passes each carry their own unique genetic signatures.
DNA is, I suppose, the alphabet of life, a finite set of symbols or 'letters' that some mysterious hand arranges and rearranges in an infinitude of novel expressions. Whether the hand belongs to God, Nature, the Creator or the Whirlwind that spoke to Job in the Bible, all are, I think, simply names for the same Great Author who writes his continually unfolding Book of Life.
Call me crazy, but I am delighted and comforted by the notion that I am neither more or less than a tiny entry in the vast library of the Great Universal Author
Whatever you celebrate, I wish you comfort and joy this season.