Summer Meditation #6 – Of Mystery

“We come from the land, the sky, from love and the body. From matter and creation. We are, life is, an equation we cannot form or shape, a mystery we can’t trace in spite of our attempts to follow it back to its origin, to find out when life began, even in all our stories of when the universe came into being, how the first people emerged. It is a failure of human intelligence and compassion that doesn’t wonder about, and love, the mystery of our lives and all the rest.” Linda Hogan, “Creation”

Mystery is in my bones. From the time I could read, it was the mystery that held my attention. A question that was asked, and then had to be solved. Where is it? When was it? Why did it happen? Who did it? What happened before, and during, and after?

I can’t get away from these questions – and they are the five most important questions that any journalist – or writer of any kind – knows must be answered- or at least alluded to –  in any manuscript, poem, essay, or journal entry, whether truth or fiction.

Like Hogan says in the quote from “Creation,” there is something wrong with someone who doesn’t wonder about life and the world around them. But perhaps ‘wrong’ is the wrong word. I don’t believe it is possible for people NOT to wonder! It think it is part of having the biggest brain in the animal kingdom.

We wonder, we think, we dream, we imagine. We seek to know why. It is impossible for us not to!

Loving mysteries and puzzles of any kind as I do, it seems natural that I was drawn to a career in natural science. And as a writer, it is natural for me to place special emphasis on the world that a story happens within.

It is also natural that I can’t stay inside a house, office, or any building for any length of time within getting a little crazy. I want to be outside, interacting with the world as much as I can. These hot, hot, hot summer days have been especially hard on me — but oh, how nice has it been the last few days as the fierce hot hold of summer has broken.

And there again is a mystery. Why has it been so hot? Why have the hot and low pressure areas been so intense this year, and the weather of such extremes? Scientists can answer those questions, I can only read what they say, and decide for myself whether I will follow their learned hypothesis and theory.

Will we have a hard winter after a tough summer? Will the leaves change color this autumn? Will there be any leaves to fall? (Most of them have already begun to fall from the trees during this long period of intense heat.) Will we have another mild winter, or will the frequent and heavy snows of two years ago return?

There I go with all the questions. There are no answers, yet. But that does not keep me from wondering. My brain runs the gammut: Who, What, When, Where, Why – and even How.

Nature is full of mystery.

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