There is probably not an inch of this land which has not been occupied by trees at some time. I picture them, a throng of arboreal ghosts so dense that mile upon mile of the place is packed solid with them, and not an inch for a squirrel to pass between them. The soil in which they rooted has long since been washed away, and now lies on or under the valley floor. The very fiber of the trees themselves, released from form by decay, has been scattered by wind and by water and has become something other, or has become part of some other tree.
But, were all those ghostly forests gathered here, and were there a consciousness to them, and all the ages that have passed were a memory that could be perceived, then, next to that, the scant decades in which their descendents have shared this place with this transient town would seem no longer than the time it takes one of these raindrops to fall from cloud to earth. Those clouds obscure the stars tonight, and the moon which will make its passage around the earth age after age before the light now exploding from those stars reaches this spot, but I am aware of them. I imagine the cloud crests gleaming faintly with light sent by distant stars when this ridge was yet molten rock sealed beneath a strange landscape I would never recognize. Some particle of cloud that catches that ancient light was once a part of a tree that grew on this spot, ages later, and ages ago.
The trickling of the rain seems slow, and the night lazes on, inviting me to doze. Were I to blink, I might miss myself.