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Samantha on Nature

She decided to sleep in today. Every weekday Samantha woke up early to have time to herself. She sipped her coffee in an oversized sweater leaning back in the chair by her window as the sunlight broke above the cityscape through her blinds. It was Saturday, and her bed which was far too inviting the previous night was just as reluctant to release her. Neither did she fight its increasing gravity.

The sun was already peeking above the nearby historic downtown buildings. She stretched all limbs as if to stake claim to the entire mattress and, after coiling back in, slowly revealed herself to the day from under her sheet with a sweep of her arm. Rolling once more from her back to her side, squeezing her pillow, and releasing a sound that is only heard during someone’s final stretch, she finally turned her legs over the side of her bed and sat up. The air was warm and inviting. The spell her bed had over her was broken.

Her apartment was small but comfortable. Modern utilities in a historic building. In the bathroom, she completed her wake-up sequence and lazily slipped on her bra and an oversized shirt. Leaving through the bedroom and passing her favorite window chair, she floated to the coffee machine to serve a habit that she neither needed nor did it serve her, yet remains a habit nonetheless. While it warmed and steeped, she leaned over the counter and scribbled single words per each line on a yellow ruled notepad.

It was almost mid-April and the farmer’s market had just opened for the year. While she was merely going to browse, she would already be quite late. But she knew what she was buying today, where she was going. This was going to be a very deliberate trip. Samantha was deeply in love with the farmer’s market. It was where she spent the majority of her money. During the colder months when the market is closed she honestly feels a little lost. The city market is always open and filled with artisan crafts she also cared for. But there is something delightfully pastoral to her favorite canners selling marmalade and honey. The expensive, but fresh tomatoes and basil.

As she daydreamed her walking trip, the sound of some particularly upset birds at the window jolted her from her fantasy. Her list and her coffee were nearly done. Samantha was well-paid at her office job but felt disconnected from her passion for nature and a semi-agrarian lifestyle in it. That lifestyle sat slightly beyond her budget, ironically, as it can get costly to get rid of everything you own and simply move away to nowhere. She sometimes browsed over plots of land she will never purchase from her work computer imagining where she would place the blackberry vines, and if they would be adjacent to the flowers she would plant to attract pollinators. She imagined the sound of the wildlife and the birds, ones a little less angry than the ones outside of her window.

Curious and distracted, she walked to the window to see what the fuss was about. She peered through the blinds to see a cat stalking a couple of birds in the green space. It wasn’t a stray, but rather an abandoned feline that was adopted by a neighbor and kept as an outdoor cat. Just domestic enough to come to the sound of a food pouch opening, just feral enough to run from being touched. The birds had beautiful blue and black feathers, which fluttered about just feet over the cat. Not as charismatic as a pigeon nor as brilliant as a jay, but nice to look at. They seemed to be protecting a nest.

Samantha mused for a while over the tussle. She had no interest or concern in stopping the cat. She understood he was certainly hungry, and well within his rights. Neither did she feel compelled to scare away the birds which at that point swooped down to peck at the cat’s head. They were simply protecting their lives and their nest. In her eyes, what nature does is pure, and she has no authority to intervene. It would, in fact, be disruptive for her to step in. No, it would be immoral to choose either creature’s side.

She didn’t know nor particularly care who’d win, but the cat grew louder to match the birds. But she knew there was a good chance to see blood, and she didn’t want to. Samantha was far from a heartless woman. She, rather, placed a tremendous degree of respect in nature. Human nature, she felt, was to curate a piece of nature. Tempering any urge to interfere, Samantha returned to her own curated space. She walked away to her coffee, which finished while it was unwatched, and poured it. Her favorite chair was saturated in tweets and mews so she leaned against the counter. Samantha glanced at her list while she sipped. She looked forward to her fresh marmalade and honey.