How Things Fall Into Place

22 October 2018 Comments Off on How Things Fall Into Place


“If light is scarce then light is scarce; we will immerse ourselves in the darkness and there discover its own particular beauty.” –
Junichiro Tanizaki
A shoot pokes its little green head out of a hard seed into a world of myriad dangers: a too-hot sun, no sun, too much water, too little water, an inquisitive bird, or a careless human foot. Still it rises into its place, stretching itself out above and below the surface. Somehow it stays alive for years, and a tree grows into place.
A leaf falls, drifting through the air, to cover a patch of bare earth beneath the tree. Gravity acts on it, and the gentle wind; together they place it just so – corners tucked up, right in place.
The roots of the tree, hidden from intruding eyes, form another tree skeleton in a negative world. Each root-branch remains close to another and yet grows far enough to be able to search the soil for nutrients and water. They recognize other root-branches of the same plant. They confer on whether to fight hostile roots of other plants or retreat to search elsewhere. They bargain with smaller life-forms and enter into symbiotic relationships to obtain nutrients. They stretch and grow. They search and find. And so a network of roots unseen falls into place.
In blue waters, sometimes as many as a billion fish form a school. Each strange-mouthed, frozen-expressioned fish, attracted to and repelled from its neighbors, watches its companions closely, and turns when they turn. In a flicker, they all speed up to a blur, or slow down to a standstill, or turn in languorous curves. Each fish swims and stops into place.
On land, drops of rain, like little fists, bang on the doors of the earth, trying to wake it for the coming of spring. Spring slides its generous green fingers onto the landscape. Six months later, biting winds rage through the land to herald the coming of winter. Winter bleaches out all but the most stubborn colors from the landscape. Like clockwork, the seasons follow each other into place.
You pour dark tea into the bottom of a cup, then fill it up with water. The tea turns an orange-red, shaped by the curved glass. Light shines through it as if it were a gem. Then you sip and swallow the orange; it flows past your throat, down your food-pipe and into your stomach, falling into place.
The old cup you do not like anymore slips from your hand and shatters into two perfect halves, saving you the trouble of cleaning up all the treacherous pieces it could have broken into. An unwanted thing falls into its place.
You are heading to an airport, constantly checking your watch and willing the train to take you there earlier. Anxiously eying heavy luggage, heart drumming in your chest, you dread all that could go wrong. But you board the plane, and you reach home safely. And so you fit into your place.
You wake to a dream, warm as sunlight, playing in your head. You have just returned from meeting with people you did not know you remembered. Your forgotten memories slide into place.
You place your hands beneath the tap and water gushes out in an unbroken stream. You raise your filled hands to your face and, with cool water, wash away weariness. You lift your head to look at your face in a mirror. A few drops slide down your skin, drip off your chin and land on your clothes. Each drop stains into place.
You are going through hard times, and things are out of your control. But each situation straightens itself out like the crumpling of a piece of paper played backward. And rarely do all the terrible things that could happen to a human being happen to you. So, you see, your life will fall into shape.