If it's not raining, I walk along rusty, neglected train tracks until reaching a 10-foot-long green tube that's been left to decay in the weeds. That's my stopping point, where I pause to consider.
Recently the industrial landscape has been broken up with pink, purple and white primrose, among other signs of the season.
On Wednesday, a black butterfly was carried by a strong wind. Its wings flapped and flapped with southerly intent, but the wind said, "East. East. East," until the butterfly disappeared from view.
During Friday morning's walk, wind blowing through vibrant weeds sounded like sleet falling on the same spot a couple of winters ago.
I imagined tiny ice pellets bouncing off the ground. Will I see sleet again? The thought came unbidden as a robin went about its business.
I was having a discussion with friends the other day and one suggested that time is an illusion. What if everything that's ever happened and everything that ever will happen are all happening at this... one... moment? The totality of existence compressed into now?
It's a rabbit-hole idea that can lead in all sorts of directions that might have nothing to do with reality.
For instance, could everything happening at once explain psychic phenomena? Someone's able to tell the future because she can pierce the veil of time and see - not what will come, but what always has been.
That's probably a load of quality, grade-A hooey, but my friends and I enjoyed wandering around the possibilities. And you don't need to leave the Mighty Daily Journal's primrose path to see how a version of this far-out theory applies to ordinary experience.
When the steel was forged and shaped into tracks and when the tracks were put down, it was a natural fact they would rust and someday fall apart.
The butterfly might not have lasted through Wednesday, and it surely won't be around when the next snow falls. The caterpillar was born to become a butterfly, and the butterfly emerged out of its cocoon to spread the stuff of life from plant to plant until it died.
Breaking down, falling apart, dying: These are built into the system, whether the dissolution takes place over an expanse of time or in the briefest of instances. You don't need a psychic to predict the ultimate outcome.
Maybe that's too morose for a spring day. Who knows for sure? I'll leave the question to physicists, theologians, gardeners and undertakers, and anyone else with a workable theory.
The thought bringing us together today is a simple recognition of the fleeting and finite, the moments that start and stop, the lives that flourish and fade. That is to say, the arc of time, if you're inclined to believe in such a thing.
M. Scott Morris is a Daily Journal feature writer. Contact him at (662) 678-1589 or firstname.lastname@example.org.