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  • Kathleen Gill



I found a dewy spider’s web, hidden and protected under the boughs of a tree and softly back-lit by the rising sun.  I was surprised – captivated by the pageantry.

Here’s the thing, though.  I often struggle with what I know, the science of things.  Science has its purpose, of course, and I’ve made my living in that world, but it tends to take the wonder away, shining a harsh light, callously dissecting and categorizing nature.    Looking at this fresh dew, I try to focus on its clean sparkle, its wetness, its perfect roundness.  Dew is visually stunning and any thoughts of dew point or surface tension kill the joy.    The same goes for the cypress tree that protects this spider’s web and that is clothed in the morning dew.  It is delicate, lushly green and stately.  The tree has a scientific name – Taxodium distichum.  With all due respect to Linnaeus and his nomenclature, how about something more poetic or memorable, or perhaps no name at all?

I suppose it matters very little what we call the tree, as long we are able to fully experience it.  In the words of Romeo’s Juliet – “that which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.”


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