We sat in silence, the furry critter and I. The sun was fading away, behind the trees, behind distant houses. The sunlight was bright, high in the sky, but it was darkening around us on the ground. We were in a green landscape, lush green grass, big drooping, leafy trees. We were in the backyard of a large mansion near the lake. It was "quiet" except for a loud, other-worldly chorus of cicadas. These unseen choristers were buzzing, chirping, they were making a strange, almost mechanical whine. The song of the cicadas rose and fell over us like a sonic mist.
My head was titled up to the sky. There were small, low-level clouds, white, puffy, moving fast from West to East. There were also large, much more distant clouds, moving slowly, almost continent sized, darker, more ominous, also slowly moving slowly from West to East.
There was a breeze at my shoulder, it was cool, swirling, it seemed to be moving from East to West. This was strange, disorienting, watching the clouds moving in one direction, the breeze caressing my elbow from another direction. My furry friend was spooked. He stood on four feet, staring at me with big brown eyes. Expectant. Worry on his brow. It's not often we just sit silently in the darkening evening. He seemed to be sending me a question, psychically asking me: "What's happening?"
I had a brief flash of insight. As it came to me, I wondered, did I hear this somewhere else, did I ever think this thought at another time and place?
My thought: This scene, this moment, is pre-human, beyond human. I could see the world without my presence. The fading sun, the darkening sky, the trees, the grass, the cicadas. For a brief flash I saw the world without me, without my friend. I mean, I was perceiving this scene, but I understood that what I was experiencing was the world without human beings, without any sign of humanity. This was an old world, ancient, pre-history. I was getting a glimpse of a nature and the planet beyond the time of humans. Of course, that's the hushed awe we feel when we are in a forest, a jungle, a rainforest, a desert, a mountain range, an ocean, on the lakefront, or in any landscape beyond humans.
It was a brief flash. A calmness washed over me, a spark of awe rose up in my being. Then I stood up. My furry friend ran towards the house, relieved, happy that we were moving again. I opened the door to the house and we rejoined the human realm.
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