Pattern Recognition

An unkindness of ravens greeted me yesterday morning. Three of them were in the spruce in the back yard. I noticed right away that there was something different in their chatter. They were not engaged in the casual and conventional caw-cawing or kack-kacking. This was not the back and forth banter of conversation. No, this was different. There were no pauses between the calls, any echolalia, or variation in returns. This was unison. Three voices calling as one, a choir for the day. I noted it. One should pay attention to changes in pattern

Despite the forecast for scattered thundershowers in the area, it was the typical blue-sky-with-the touch-of-white-puff-cloud-type morning. Crisp. Warm and dry. There was a light wind heard in the trees. I noticed the seed puffs from the cottonwoods in the air. Like miniature dandelion clusters…one…two…four…eight…sixteen…thirty-two…sixty-four…an exponential swirl of cottonwood puffs puff-puffing along. It was barely perceptible against the bright sky above. I caught the motion out of the corner of my eye, on the peripheral, where the dark shade of pine created a darker ground. Only there did it stand out for what it was, and only there could the flurry be seen. It was then that I noticed that the cloud puffs in the sky were copying the seed puffs. Or perhaps it was the other way around. Whatever. The sky was full of small cumulus clouds that were blown wispy at the edges. They looked like cotton balls stretched finely, like cottonwood seeds, like dandelion puffs. I was standing in the midst of a cosmic fractal rendering of micro and macro. I wondered where I fit within it all; where my form was repeated.

Late afternoon. The sky darkened. Dark shades of gray - almost black. A storm was brewing, and thunder played in the distance. The wind picked up. It loosened the cottonwood’s grip, and an enraged storm of cottonwood was in the air. With the darkened sky as a backdrop, the cottonwood puffs could be seen everywhere. Thousands upon thousands of them. They were no longer a trickled sensing on the outskirts of my senses, the sky now provided a proper backdrop for total clarity. I was in a snowstorm of sorts; a snowstorm of cottonwood seeds. A snowstorm in summer. They were everywhere, swirling, and it was ever so beautiful. It was surreal, but it was also so real. It was another shift in patterns brought to the fore, the third that day. I wondered what it all meant. Then the lightning entered into the valley.

- The Fool