Live for the moment, they say. I do try, but spend my time wondering What’s gonna be. It’s not that I worry about the future. Well, not so very much. For me, it’s more about wanting to know how current actions will play out. Waiting is difficult. It must be very much the same for her for we have always recognized that the precepts of the phrase Patience and Perseverance, are wearisome.

No so for nature. Nature cares not about time. Although natural phenomena occur over time horizons spanning many orders of magnitude, I’m not sure that has significance. Some say the Inflationary Era of the Big Bang occurred in 10-43 seconds. Others tell us that the universe continues to expand some 1017 seconds later. Atoms collide, molecules interact, organelles coalesce, cells grow and divide, organisms live and die, populations expand and contract, and ecosystems flourish and decay. Is there any meaningful significance, as far as nature is concerned, between and among the time scales upon which these phenomena occur? No. And it does not matter.

We wandered past a low spot where leaves settled last autumn. Snow and ice had accumulated there. Cold nights and mild days drive a seemingly unending cycle of freeze, thaw, and around again. When it is warm, and without a frame of reference, recession can be mistaken for its opposite. Leaves, further down, provide background of muted mosaic. Once alive, the leaves now wait, to be colonized by bacteria and by fungi. To decay and to be metabolized. To then be reconstituted. Incorporated into living tissue once again. Do molecules concern themselves with such closed loops? Do trees and microbes wait for What’s gonna be? No. That concern remains mine alone. Our specific epithet means wise. Perhaps it would be better otherwise.


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