Marder points out that plant cuttings can survive and grow independently. That suggests that if plants do have a self, it is likely dispersed and unconfined, unlike the human sense of self. It’s notable, too, that many scientists and mystics argue that the human feeling of individuality—of being a self within a particular body—is a necessary illusion.
It is witness to a watershed that precedes us. In that sense, the creek is a reminder that we do not live in a simulation — a streamlined world of products, results, experiences, reviews — but rather on a giant rock whose other life-forms operate according to an ancient, oozing, almost chthonic logic. Snaking through the midst of the banal everyday is a deep weirdness, a world of flowerings, decompositions, and seepages, of a million crawling things, or spores and lacy fungal filaments, of minerals reacting and things being eaten away — all just on the other side of the chain-link fence.
When looking for life, we look at habitat edges.
At edges where different habitats come together, we are more likely to find living things. They have access to resources from both habitats. For example, a bird near the edge of field and forest can feed in field and then shelter in forest.
Where do we find habitat edges in the sky?
At any time, about 200 giant thunderstorms rumble around our planet. Their enormous, densely rich clouds are full of water, minerals, and energy.