Thinking outside the box

     The worm startled me. Walking through the white-crusted woods this morning thinking about hibernation, I stopped in my tracks at the sight of this fleshy being, curled up and exposed on top of old snow far from a patch of mud.  How did it get there? There was no sign of beak or teeth marks on it.  It must have crawled there itself during our January thaw, and been overcome by cold. 
     I thought about tossing it onto some bare ground where it might reverse its exodus and burrow back into the soil, but the cold didn't look like it was going to break today.
     I wondered if it was dead.
     And then my little box of spring on my kitchen windowsill materialized in my mind, and I decided to bring the worm home.
     Will it come to life in my box? Or will it just lay there? What if it is dead? Will it dry up, or will it decompose?
     Looking down at it lying in the palm of my black mitten, the worm as I experience it has all those possible realities in it now, and more. For example, I could drop it on the road home and a car could flatten it. Or it could warm up and thrive in my box, get tossed back into the woods in May, and become a happy worm-father to new worms. But instead of predicting what will likely happen and in essence choosing one or two lines of possibility for the worm, I am going to try to just stay in this moment.
     Like my moment in the Christmas kitchen (see Simultaneous Realities I and II), I think realities can exist side-by-side. But I see now there are more than dual realities. It's like every moment is a seed, and all the realities of that seed's existence – from the flower and the pollen that generated it, to its demise as a root breaks out and down while a sprout cracks through and pushes up – all those realities are in that seed. At once.
     So I will watch the worm in my terrarium, and practice seeing it just as it is in its infiniteness. And as hard as it is to push outside my own shell of thinking in mono- or dual- realities, maybe my own nut will crack, and a new way of perceiving will take root.
     I am feeling grateful to the worm, the January thaw, and my box of spring: multiple simultaneous realities right here, right now.