I make my way to my tree shelter and stand amidst the low-hanging branches. I lean my head against one of them and close my eyes. I hear birds, a car, more birds. I feel the wind as it moves over my skin. I sense the water between my toes, as I’ve worn flipflops, which is cooler than the rest of me.

Little raspberry seeds, from berries I picked on my way to this place, are wedged between my teeth and I pry them loose with my tongue and gently crunch them to release their tangy tart sweetness.

The wind shifts and I catch an odor that makes me wonder if I am near the final resting place of my nineteen-year old cat who went missing two weeks ago. I feel something land on my hand and my eyes open. I swat away the mosquito.

I see greens of many shades surrounding me. I see tick foil seeds almost ready to stick to anything that passes by, with their bristly small hairs. I see one bright red leaf on the ground.

I am aware that I can chose my feelings about the mosquito, the smell of death, the cool, smooth bark of the tree branch I lean on. It is clear to me that it’s not objective but more subjective. I am the one to bring my response to these sensory experiences. They themselves are neutral. My interest in a plant or feeling is inherently based on what I bring to the situation. If I fear cats, I will feel fear when I see one, regardless of its intentions.

Speaking of which, I am now typing with my black cat lying here on my desk with me. As soon as I touch him, he begins to purr loudly. In and out with each breath, the sound  changes. It connects us, his rhythmic purring. Why do cats purr? Why do we enjoy it? Ah, but many don’t enjoy it. It reminds them of allergies, experiences of getting scratched or bitten. It is only my positive association with cats and their rumbles echoing through my body that brings the pleasure.

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