It feels as though all of a sudden, spring must have crept in through an open window one night. It was marked on the calendar right and proper, and I do remember observing daylights savings, (Pointless ritual that it is) but the lengthened days of sunlight and warmth are still a shock to my system. After that winter that really wasn’t, it hardly feels right to continue on without it, but what is one to do? Mother nature won’t be bothered with such petty complaints when there are seeds to sprout, flowers to bloom, animals and insects to prod out of hiding! The season is still young, but there is so much to do; Spring could hardly wait another day before manifesting itself! Small mounds of compacted snow still remain, spotting the earth like unsightly pimples on an adolescent face, slowly retreating back into the ground and further distressing the swollen streams. Watching them melt makes the landscape appear some how changed, different from the last time I saw it without a covering of slick, glistening ice. Come to think of it, some thing was definitely out of place here… I just couldn’t quite put my finger on it.
Pacing around the muddy dirt immediately outside my garage door, an unsettled feeling rose steadily in my gut. What is it? What’s wrong? It was driving me mad. Having lived here for the majority of my life, I should be able to tell when some thing is amiss. Venturing further and further from my haven, it was another few minutes before I finally laid eyes upon a large rock near the perimeter of our property. Out of the way and easy to overlook, I was certain that something about it was drastically changed even from my present distance. Picking up my pace and seeing the full picture in clearer focus, I was shocked to see exactly what it was that had disrupted my sense of normalcy.
No small fallen branch or waterlogged tree truck, sitting in plain sight was a multi-million year old Nautiloid! Unearthed by the motion of melting snow, there was no denying that this was an authentic piece of history in my backyard, a small glimpse into a world that we can only make educated guesses about with today’s technology. While on rare occasion our backyard has been known to cough up a random fragment of clay pottery of mysterious origin, this find was unprecedented! What to do? Who to tell!?
Coiled contentedly around itself, eyes unblinking, I was fairly sure that my little nautiloid wouldn’t be going anywhere soon. After unimaginable lengths of time buried beneath the earth, I would imagine that a few more minutes would hardly even be a drop in the bucket. Feet pounding the soggy terrain, I made a mad dash back into the house to alert some one, any one still home. Scaling stairs about as gracefully as a drunken leprechaun, my breath was growing short and yet not a soul could be found to share my amazing discovery with. Just my luck!
Finally, after a torturous wait, my parents returned from an early grocery expedition and I ambushed them, pregnant with news. Dragging both all the way into the corner of the yard, we all peered with excitement at the designated rock to see… A big rock. The nautiloid was gone! Perhaps it was able to stay hidden for so long because it wasn’t exactly fossilized after all… But I guess the world may never know.