“Hello, World!”

Once upon a time, there was a small green shoot. She lived in a forest next to a well-trodden path. This might seem like a dangerous way to live and the start to a tragic story, one so ridiculously short as to be unexciting, not worth telling, and meaningless.

Her story is, still, a short one. Little is known of her life. She keeps herself to herself, lives quietly and simply, and is rarely seen by others. By those others who are in the habit of collecting and telling stories, that is; the others who would grant themselves a Capital O as The Others who recount, account, and count; who matter, and who thereby give materiality to their stories’ material. But she already has substance aplenty and is in no need of such “help.” She is quite happy having no adventures and being mostly invisible.

Invisible and unadventurous in others’ terms, her advent and adventitiousness are imperceptible as they happen in a different time. She cannot be observed properly—in The Others’ terms—minute by minute, minutely, to be objectively monitored and recorded. She is improper. She flickers in and out of sight, though rooted in the same spot. She can only be seen in The Otherworld if an Otherworlder looks carefully through one of the arborways. We’d be more used to calling these gateways and portals; to seeing the liminal as constructed objects, and as with arches and bridges to associating design, engineering, and architecture with all that is man-made.

An arborway found: even then, there are no guarantees. Go around and over and through it. It will be different every time, and every approach opens another world. One must be in the right place, at the right time, in the right frame of mind, and feeling “hello worldly.” Such things are unpredictable, can’t be forced or engineered. You might see her twice in an hour. She might be bigger or smaller the second time, perhaps with more leaves, in different place and positions. You might not see her again for weeks. It’s OK. She’s still there. It’s just that you can’t see her. It’s not her fault, that’s how she is. It’s not your fault either, this isn’t about you, and like most things in our worlds fault doesn’t matter anyway. Responsibility, sure. Be calm, be kind, be safe, be patient. You saw her once. That’s a wonder.

She’s still there.