Often I wonder: Is the earth trying to get rid of us, shake us off, drown us, scorch us to nothingness? To save itself and all other creatures slated for extinction? The trees around here seem friendly enough — stoic, philosophically inclined toward nonjudgmental awareness and giving in their branchings perfect examples of one thing becoming two and remaining one — but who knows what they really feel? Just last night I was walking to my favorite cafe, the Laughing Goat, when I saw a flock of crows circling raincloudy sky, arguing, speaking strangely, suddenly alight on a maple tree, dozens of them closing down their wings like arrogant, ill-tempered magistrates. Some kind of consultation was happening there, some plan unfolding (animals think we’re crazy for thinking they can’t think), and everybody was looking up, looking up and watching.