While I circle the drive way, we pass each other like planets in retrograde.
Her small horny back, mustard yellow and black, traverses wet, pebbled shadows. I admire her deceptively delicate feet, so tiny, as she clambers over withered leaves, rocks and rough concrete.
Hannibal crossed the the Alps on the back of an elephant in 216 B.C.. Undeterred by forbidding terrain, his feat remains unique in human history.
Seemingly determined as Hannibal, so goes this intrepid little millipede as she disappears to cross the vast plain beneath the looming underbelly of my Dodge Caravan.
I circle the drive way, once, twice, three more times, watching, waiting for her to emerge on the other side of the van. On my fourth trip round, she reappears, still chugging along like a miniature freight train, her articulated back undulating without zigzag or hesitation.
How do purpose, intent, and the notion of a fixed destination arise in the brain of a millipede, I wonder.
Now I stop, put on my glasses and lean over to get a better look at the completion of her small, yet immense journey. She pays me not the slightest attention as she crosses the remaining strip of concrete and plunges into the towering green jungle of my weedy garden.
Where is she going and what will she do when she gets there? Just two more ordinary mysteries to ponder on another ordinary day.