Image: Rays of a setting sun shine beneath a blanket of clouds as the last few moments of the day turn toward the sleepy shadows of night.


Beyond the horizon, beyond what I can't see or hear without the aid of some form of external source, digital airwaves bring news via television broadcasts and packets of data. Signs within the stream announce shifting norms and inspirational continuity.

Within my view, animal populations are on the rise and birds I've never noticed before are moving through. An eagle takes flight from a roadside,  Sandhill Cranes take a rest in a waterlogged field. Expanding coyote packs hunt mice by day and night as around forty feral hogs are spotted destroying a nearby field normally grazed by cattle.

I've never really studied what happens across the rural countryside among the flora and fauna while shifting norms affect human society, though there are times when I see hints of hidden ties to historical analogies. It's difficult from within routine to understand how there is a relationship all nature shares until you live long enough on the outside to not just see it, but also to sense the change.

Perhaps pest exterminators or those within law enforcement or medicine understand what I am referring to. Those who see the changes among rodent or insect populations, those who understand the effect heat or the full moon have on human behavior, those who care for those affected by the rise in illnesses resulting from climate extremes, I think there are those who know what I am referring to.

Perhaps the botanist who recognizes the shifts in particular flora popularity, or the farmer who witnesses the extremes of dry earth and devastating storms upon crops and livestock. Maybe the meteorologist who sees through the images taken by an orbiting satellite or the emergency volunteer sitting in a world-monitoring, disaster relief control center. Certainly anyone involved in collecting wide swaths of data or intelligence knows what I am writing of.

Just as a drought ends with a flood and ash from a winter’s wildfire fertilizes new growth in Spring, balance is the goal of existence. Change is never easy, but if we are ever to reach stable, fertile land, for however long or short a period in time, we must always be willing to wade into troubled water.