I do mean questions about the natural world. A crow in the spruce tree in front of my house hops up towards the top, branch by branch. Why does it do this? Why does it preen, stop, move up a notch, preen some more? Why this particular tree all the time, and why do other crows join it there? Many things about the crow are known, why it preens, what its multi-various calls signify, but do we know what makes it move, at what point it moves, why it moves, when no food or danger is in view? Things that move, like weather and wildlife and the human heart, have mystery, and are forever fascinating to the post-religious. All I want, and perhaps you, is to earn my place in a place by fitting in.
That’s where the things that don't move, like rocks and trees, provoke the deepest questions of all. They just are, and what does that mean? They belong to a place, as I now do, as the restless 21st century does not seem to. That’s the answer I know. I might understand the workings of a crow, given enough study. I might never understand the rocks of a beach, unless given eternity."