The Devonian Gardens

They call it the Age of Conifers, or sometimes the Paleozoic Era. Close your eyes. Can you feel the breeze, rippling through the ineffable expanse of Devonian evergreens? Araucariaceae. They were bigger than our contemporary pines, a scale to match creatures of the time, heavy-limbed lumbering through forests before the Permian–Triassic extinction event. Before the supercontinent split up and drifted apart, puzzle pieces that may one day come together again, although it’s unlikely we’ll be around for the reunion. Some believe that plant-life has an aura, a magic, a sentience, an energy. Some believe in ghosts. Some believe in both. We’ve been resurrecting those Devonian gardens, wrenching them from their resting places strata below. Burning their bodies, worshiping their energy, an insatiable desire for that sweet release: C137H97O9NS to CO2 and some other things also. The forests burn now each summer, hotter and more fiercely, the remnants of their long-buried ancestors airborne and wily. Ancient conifers are meant to rest in the ground. Make no mistake, we’re being haunted.