Eric Mayer

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In the northeast we are nearing the outskirts of summer. Last week’s cool temperatures – not yet a harbinger of autumn – are giving way to heat and humidity, but the wind, turning up the leaves to show their white undersides, is almost chilly.

The mid-afternoon sunlight has bleached the greens of trees and lawns. When I walked down to the small retention pond by my brother’s house there were two big snapping turtles sunning themselves in the mud. Frogs, grown large now, leapt into the scummy water at my approach.

The pond is no more than thirty feet across so the turtles always have their dinner close by, and the frogs are never more than a few feet from the jaws of doom. Does it worry them? I suppose frogs do not worry, even if they sense the presence of their enemies. They probably don’t agonize over it.

I imagine it must be the same with the change of season. Surely they must feel the change coming. It won’t be long before they are forced to burrow down into the freezing muck to wait. Perhaps to wake to a new spring, or perhaps to freeze, or be eaten instead.

Still, for a frog, the first cold days are a long way off. In truth, the future may not exist for frogs. For all I know they live only in the present, react only to what is happening at the moment.

There’s something to be said for that. For not worrying about what you can’t change. For not speculating about things you know nothing about. Like what frogs think.

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