There I was, sitting on the lawn in front of the JKB on campus trying to think of a project to complete for my Biology class. I could think of nothing. My professor constantly berates us for losing our “Sense of Wonder” in the world but I can’t help it if I don’t walk around campus and sit watching ant colonies like my professor does. There was a point in my life where my cynicism must have overtaken my curiosity of nature. It was probably about the point where we stopped watching Bill Nye the Science Guy in science classes and my sleep deprivation from seminary caused me to stop caring about everything for a while.
There I sat, picking off pieces of grass and willing myself to care about something in nature. Something I could conduct an experiment on in the Provo area. I was about to give up when I looked up to see the mountains. Hm, I thought vaguely, the leaves are changing. I guess fall is really here now. Bam. It hit me. Why do leaves change? Are there certain factors in the trees themselves or their environments that cause them to change before other leaves? What causes the first shift in pigmentation?
The longer I sat there, the more I thought about how quickly this semester seems to be already flying by. We’re already a month into the semester, midterms are creeping up maliciously, and I am beginning to check the temperature in the morning to decide what I’m going to wear that day. When did summer begin to bleed in fall and how long until winter bares down on us all? Is it really possible I’m in my sophomore year of college? How is possible that my sister, Allison, is going to be married in just 2 1/2 months? Has my friend, Kevin, really been on his mission in Japan for 11 months now?
I had a conversation with someone yesterday that I’ve been thinking about today. When listening to a song in church, he commented that the most powerful part of the song was when the key modulated. It seems to be true for most songs that it’s the sudden change that seems to strike a chord in us. (Pun intended) Isn’t the same true about life in general? We can’t stay in one moment of time nor should we ever want to. Things change so softly from day to day that it’s sometimes hard to see the shift until you look at how different the colors of your leaves have become.
Time seems to be slipping away in a strangely wonderful way.
I’m not sure that was what my Biology teacher intended me to get out of the Nature Experiment, but I think I’m starting to regain my Sense of Wonder. I think he’d be proud.