Here is the context. It’s early in the 21st century in a slightly larger than midsized city. A pleasant city as they go in these times. We’re a middle-aged couple, low-income, low-need, intellectuals. Around us the world is changing, rapidly becoming hostile to human life, but as yet we are seeing only the merest edge of the darkness that is sliding toward us. There are movies to take our mind off of doom. We sit in the quiet gloom of theatre dark and forget for a couple of hours about hunger and sorrow. We watch the tragedy of history in order to avoid, momentarily, the cataclysm on our threshold.
And walking home afterword we pass by a church and I begin to think about God. Well, why not? The reader board on the lawn of the church invites me to worship. I think about worship and how alien that is to me. I think that God, if there is a god, doesn’t give a damn about worship. If there is a god, then I am God. If there is a god, then everything is God, and I am God. Worship is a veil between god and God.
We walk into the edge of the urban forest, past maple and cherry, into the oaks, elms, horse chestnuts, and the blooming dogwood going deeper and deeper, the trees arching higher and thicker, their trunks massive, ferns sprout out of moss inches thick. The streetlights are obscured, the sidewalk becomes treacherous terrain.
At some point in the last few years I ceased taking for granted that at Winter’s end Spring would take shape and every year I feel a reprieve has been granted. Leaves as small as my little fingernail, yellow-green, eat sunlight and air and announce the postponement of death for another season.