Any Tree, Incredibly
Jacob Walhout (bio)

A person can instantly grasp a group’s count, up to nine members or so. Past that is counting.

The problem with counting is that things, approximately, are infinite in both directions.

I can neither count the leaves on a tree nor the cells in a leaf.

Feel this leaf. Touch it, smell it. Imagine its thinness. Know the lifetimes here swaddled.
Know the sights adorned, the sustenance provided, the life participated.

Circumscribe the unknown with a thin, shaky line.

(Realizing, of course, that the unknown is three-dimensional or more.)

Think on the caverns between leaves, between cells, between molecules, atoms, particles, quarks, between that which is and that which was almost.

And how many leaves are on the tree.

They clap their hands and serenade the moon. They stretch their lungs and feed the earth.

Between what I know and what I know is wonder, I suspect, given its size and its faint intimations of beauty.

Beauty that here, in this leaf, contains everything. And how many leaves are on the tree.

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