"We are full of paradise without knowing it.”—Thomas Merton
If this isn’t Paradise, what is? Your own eyes that wide with the imagination, the knowing, the not-knowing of it all: the sometimes porcelain of summer clouds to their crow’s wing black of threatening or actual rain. Or as in your vegetable garden, tomatoes so near to ripe you can’t wait to pick them. But must, knowing the season’s ripe taste will be worth the mid-July wait. And then there is garden corn—almost Heaven itself slathered with butter, salt, and pepper—even if you are not a worshipper of Centeoti, the Aztec maize god. Everything alive or dead or whatever’s in between, as most things, as our rapt or frightened attention to contingency demands. Or else just to prove you’re able to standit all sometimes. Then you can at least pretend it’s all meaningful. And maybe it is.