The other day I was sitting in my hammock reading these old stories from my childhood, and after I finished a few chapters, I couldn’t help but put the book down and just listen to the sounds of the world. And when I did that it was almost as if I felt the earth roll beneath me. I could feel the expanse of time. Looking up at the branches of the trees, I realized that on a similar summer day 50 years ago, my mother lay in a very similar hammock, in the same place, reading a very similar set of stories, looking up at similar branches. Decades before that, my grandmother lay in a hammock, in the same place, reading similar stories, looking at similar branches. And before her, maybe another girl, perhaps a native, sat in a similar spot, being told similar stories, looking up at similar branches. Of course the trees were different then. The main road wasn’t there for my mother or my grandmother, and the native girl saw no house with a red tin roof only a yard or so away, and her trees were much older and larger as many of them hadn’t been cut in thousands of years. But our actions were the same, me, my mother, grandmother, and the native girl. Laying in the hammock, I became acutely aware that life, while always continuing to change in it’s details, remains in it’s essence, exactly the same. And that is a notion both comforting and unnerving. It’s weird to notice that you are only one link in a pattern that has been continuing for millions of years. And that one day, you will be the “native girl” with no name or connection, merely a symbol of that everlasting cycle in which we all play a role.