“Man was here,” the sign said. Actually, it wasn’t a sign, but it might as well have been. I was walking along in the woods, listening to birds and trying to keep out of the sun. The tree leaves haven’t filled in yet, and the woods will be hot until they do. Hot for me, anyhow, which is anything over 65 degrees. Still, it’s always more pleasant in the woods. I guess you could say I’m not a social butterfly.
|Crisscross, crisscross! Man was here!|
But I came across this sign, the sign that cried out to me from . . . how many years ago? I don’t know. It said “man was here.” Unnatural technology was here. The tree stump was unlike those that naturally fall, split, decay, or even get hit by lightning. Crisscross, crisscross went the saw. Man was here! It was quite a while ago, judging by the moss, which does not grow quickly at all. But he had still been there, and even though there was no other sign--no road, no building, no machine--his presence could be seen.
At first I was angry because I felt that this sanctuary had been invaded, but then I began to laugh because of all the other signs I saw. They were everywhere once I opened my eyes:
Moss was here!
Decay was here!
Dead pine needles were here!
Beware of old oaks!
The forest floor is alive!
Beautiful when wet!
And so I laughed and laughed. Man was here, indeed, but only just briefly, and long after he’s gone, the other signs will live on.