After jogging the other day in Atlanta, I went to work where I helped people learn to read and write. I stood in a cinderblock building and looked at faces. The faces held expressions you might expect, should someone tell you the importance of words, words, words. It was like finding yourself subjected to an accountant’s rendering of her daily play-by-play. But this morning, after submitting to this reality, I saw two magnificent river birches. I stood on a bridge that spanned between the cinderblock building in which I’d taught, and the next cinderblock building, through which I’d pass on my way to the blacktopped parking lot below, where I’d enter my Toyota and speed away on endless highways full of others speeding away to other places. I’d paused here, on this bridge, once before, but I faced the opposite direction, east, when the sun was about to rise, and I photographed the red and purple clouds with a cell phone. But this day, the day I’m talking about, I faced west, and faced these river birches, which forked out of mulched ground twenty feet below me, and spread their toothed leaves so they canopied above my head, and I did not take a photo, because it seemed to do so would only indignify what appeared to be the only living thing in this vicinity.