I’ll call it Flora, I thought.
To my mind its behavior was erratic. Nonsensical. Yet, it could be predicted. Drumming my fingers on the window caused Flora to stop. Placing a pencil in its path caused it to change course. Dabbing the surface with honey resulted in a wandering trajectory, somehow leveraging pure chance to near ever closer.
I found myself thinking about what the world must be like for Flora. How the vastness of space and time shrink away to yield the here and now. How the world changes in a moment under the influence of a mythic other. How the complete and utter freedom to respond to a shifting world manifests in the mundane everyday. We found ourselves here, Flora and I, together for a brief moment in time. We found ourselves here for a reason. I sat mesmerized, transfixed as Flora’s ground slowly turned from blue to pink to a deep orange.
As our time together drew to an end, I placed my finger in front of Flora and it climbed aboard. We sat there in still and golden silence, reveling in our shared connection as Flora walked circles around my index finger. I held my breath and drew close, looking to glean a sense of personhood from Flora’s eyes. As if on cue, Flora suckled on the tip of my finger, a sign to the universe that there was something more. Something in between.
With that, our time was up. Flora departed.
I stared at the empty space where Flora had just been, my heart heavy with the knowledge that our ephemeral connection was now severed. I closed my eyes, trying to hold on to the memories of Flora's delicate movements and the warmth that had bloomed within me during our brief encounter.
This encounter weighed on me. Flora, an insignificant ant, had rendered the world in a way previously impossible. There was more depth in connection, more beauty in life, more sameness in the other.
I found myself pondering our encounter for days, the memory of Flora etched into my consciousness. The world around me seemed to shift subtly, as if I had glimpsed a hidden layer of reality. I walked through the streets, observing the people and creatures that inhabited the city, wondering how many undiscovered connections lay waiting beneath the surface like carrots before a harvester.
As the days turned into weeks, I began to notice patterns. The way the wind carried the fallen leaves in a mesmerizing dance, or how the sunlight cast intricate shadows through the branches of trees. I felt drawn to these fleeting moments, their beauty and impermanence reflecting the essence of my time with Flora. I became an observer, attuned to the hidden connections that bound us all together.
One day, as I sat on a park bench, I spotted a ladybug scurrying along the edge of the seat. I extended my finger, allowing it to climb aboard, and watched as it explored the contours of my hand. Like Flora, it seemed to exist in a world all its own, and yet, its very presence seemed to bridge the gap between our separate realms.
I continued to seek out these encounters with the natural world, each time finding solace in the connection I shared with the creatures around me. But as the weeks turned into months, the memory of Flora began to fade. I longed for the clarity and connection I had felt with that tiny ant, and a part of me feared that I would never experience it again.
Then, one day, as I sat in the kitchen, I saw a familiar speck of life scurrying across the countertop. My heart skipped a beat as I realized it was Flora. It moved with the same gentle grace, traversing the ever-changing landscape that was our undone dishes.
I hesitated, unsure if I should interfere with its journey. But as I watched, Flora paused and turned towards me, as if aware of my presence. It seemed to beckon me, urging me to reach out and reconnect with the world it inhabited. I reached out as if Michelangelo’s God to Flora’s Adam. But, to my surprise, it hesitated. It seemed to recognize the intrusion, to sense that the once-innocent connection had been tainted by my longing for something more. Flora steered clear of my extended finger and wandered along, nearing ever closer to the plate of half eaten pancakes.