When people look at a tree, they can’t see oxygen being produced, but they can see firewood, furniture and building materials. People see a baby, a toddler, a teen, a young adult, an old person; but they rarely, if ever, see the continuous, timeless individual that embodies all those stages of life, experiencing each new development, each subtle transformation, in an undisturbed, endless ballet, where even the resting is a part of the dance.
     We confine ourselves and others to this mode of perception. How limiting this is to how we see ourselves, to how we see the world. What kind of mind does it take to see that the baby in the photograph and the old woman holding the photograph are one and the same?
     It’s this limited thinking that only allows us to see a flower when it’s flowering. Before the colorful show appears, there is only anticipation; and once the final petals have fallen, all that’s left are memories. Who sees the plant as a whole? From root to stem to leaves to flower? Who lovingly places the bulb below the earth, to protect it from the next freeze, inviting it to rise again come spring?
     Only humans demand obedience from the seasons. Some spring days will sing the songs of summer, some become a brisk refrain of fall. The flowers don’t think of spring, they think only of blooming, embracing their seemingly simple lives. They reach for the sun because it is natural to do so.
     And when the flowers speak of the sun, it is never out of reach, not some foreign star millions of miles away. No, when the flowers speak of the sun, they speak of the light, the warmth, the reflections, the colors that we call our lives. All parts of the earth are at some point covered in darkness, but not all see the light. If we are to explore and conquer and build, let us explore our minds and our imaginations, let us conquer our fear, let us build hope and confidence and community- creating nothing with which to cast more shadows.

Excerpt from the novel:
IN THE PLACE WHERE THERE IS NO DARKNESS by K. M. Douglas

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