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How could we view history unencumbered by books buried beneath veils of the misinformed? Is anything in the “past” or is it all written in the eternal present? Is the destruction of the forests a “recent” act or has it been happening forever in the present? The carrot seed is the perpetual carrot and the oak towers above the possum at its feet. And the possum’s pocket is the warm womb of millennia, a migrant of the south, an omnivore.

America is all about transiency, roiling sea of races, human, animal, plant, worm, nematode. But what have taken root are the trees, the bristlecone pine, the redwood, grandfather oak beneath which sustenance is found every autumn in the guise of the acorn.

This world is an enormous marketplace, a bottleneck of goods and gadgets that pollute, just as the smallpox polluted and deleted an entire population of “Americans”, and we Europeans slaughtered the buffalo. And we forgot to find sustenance in the acorn.

I was once meditating inside an old oak hollow and when I opened my eyes there was a deer mouse sitting on a ledge of dry sapwood (what was left of it) staring back at me. We both froze until I blinked and that mouse took off! Later that day I saw a million mouse tracks in the snow, all of them directed at the fox grape vines along the stream bank (frozen). A minute later, off to the east, I tracked a curious red fox until I came to a red patch in the snow and some disturbance. Upon closer inspection there was a detached mouse liver and stomach. I looked for the frozen grape. Wasn’t there. I looked for the fox at the end of his (her?) stride. Wasn’t there.

I circled back to the old hollow oak tree. Was there, rooted to the soil, open and accepting for all who came to lean against it, pick a beetle from its deep furrows, or eat of its lobed leaves for snack. What this oak has seen through a hundred or more seasons, stable, upright, a historian of the first degree, persistent, weather beaten, bug eaten, antler butted, persistent, persistent, persistent. I was honored to sit and meditate in his gut.