Paradise at Home
Friday, September 6, 2019
Nearing 11:00 a.m. and it’s still pleasantly cool in our shady little holler. Sitting under the patio umbrella next to the black eyed Susans and purple basil, I know how lucky I am to have landed in this little Eden we call home.
In the woods, the oak and hickory trees are beginning to drop their nuts. Overhead, a red tailed hawk proclaims ownership of the wide blue sky and no more than a few feet away, the slender gray string of a worm snake attempts to slither across the rough pavement of the driveway. I watch while he struggles, flipping over several times, exposing the pale yellow stripe on his skinny belly, then righting himself and shimmying onward, undeterred.
He’s a harmless little fellow on a mission, doubtless spurred by some imperative his primitive reptilian brain deems crucial both to his and his species' survival. The instinct of all living things is, after all, to persist.
Now my gaze falls on the persistent vegetation surrounding the house. We had it cut back and cleared a couple of years ago, but it's back. Poplar saplings and invasive privet graze the windows and the ivy clambering up the walls will ruin the paint if we don't get it off. After the leaves have finished falling, I'll call Mr. Davenport and get his crew out here to clean the place up again.
Sitting alone in the early autumn sun, I contemplate the future: after Bob and I are gone, I wonder how long it will take this house to be enveloped by the encroaching woods? Likely no more than five or six years.
And what about when the last homo sapien draws his or her final breath, will the Earth shrug our species off as one more experiment among many, terminating in yet another evolutionary dead end? I'm guessing the earth will persist, not only surviving but thriving for at least another few billion years after our paltry and insignificant species has passed.
These thoughts don't make me sad. On the contrary, the notion of being shrugged off strikes me as a relief.
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Be Well and Good Luck,