Paper

White petals blushing with pink had drifted into piles. Snowflake sized, you wouldn’t think they’d do much, but like snow (and rain), pour enough into a place or a moment, and you start to have something. Add precipitation and time; let sit.

The rain had finally ceased. I’m not one to do yard work in the rain unless it’s critical (what could possibly be critical enough for me to do it in the rain?) so here I was, laboring against a chilly wind. Milky sunshine, lacking any sunshine, made sunglasses a necessity.

I’d had a vision: get out my blower/mulcher and rid my yard of the browning petals, part of the general cleanup. The petals had decided they liked it there. Bunching together and flattening out to endure the rain, they’d developed thick, communal layers. As I pried them off the driveway along the lawn, I found they’d turned into paper.

Nature’s paper. Dizzy implications struck. Something like this had probably been a prompt to paper’s invention. With time, heating, and more pressing, something like the petal paper could be done on a large scale. I gazed back into my imaginary past where people gathered to consider this petal paper and began thinking about what to do with this new stuff. Why, they could write on it with some berry juice.

The petals only come around once a year. What else could be used? I imagined them foraging and collecting new materials, processing and testing them, scaling up their new invention.

Temptations arose: I could treat these petals and try to develop paper. It could be an interesting experience.

Laziness prevailed. I returned to the yard work. After all, paper had already been invented.

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