Midrib | East Wenatchee, WA | May 2020

Patterns of big to little and little to big fulfill a natural order. Leaves: Branch, stem, midrib, veins. Traffic: Freeways, state routes, county roads, driveways. Water: Springs, creeks, rivers, seas. They’re sorting maps we follow subconsciously — glacier > waterfall > stream — through most of our lives. I ate a salad yesterday by first picking out the biggest pieces (lettuce, tomato), then the smaller additions (olives, croutons), then the tiniest nibbles (sunflower seeds, cheese bits) at the bottom of the bowl. When I feel uneasy about a problem or decision, it’s often because I haven’t followed the pattern to its source or outcome. Things are left unseen, possibilities unexplored, croutons uncrunched.

[In photo: A rhubarb-like midrib on the leaf of a riverside weed.]