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Many bright people are really in the dark about vegetable life. Biology teachers face kids in classrooms who may not even believe in the metamorphosis of bud to flower to fruit and seed, but rather, some continuum of pansies becoming petunias becoming chrysanthemums; that's the only reality they witness as landscapers come to campuses and city parks and surreptitiously yank out one flower before it fades from its prime, replacing it with another. The same disconnection from natural processes may be at the heart of our country's shift away from believing in evolution. In the past, principles of natural selection and change over time made sense to kids who'd watched it all unfold. Whether or not they knew the terms, farm families understood the processes well enough to imitate them: culling, selecting, and improving their herds and crops. For modern kids who intuitively believe in the spontaneous generation of fruits and vegetables in the produce section, trying to get their minds around the slow speciation of the plant kingdom may be a stretch.
I do not wish to say that one should love death; but one should love life so magnanimously, so without calculating and selecting, that love of death (the turned-away side of life) is continually and involuntarily included - which actually happens invariably in the great motions of love, which are impetuous and illimitable.
The boys were tumbling about, clinging to his legs, imploring thatnumerous things be brought back to them. Mr. Pontellier was a greatfavorite, and ladies, men, children, even nurses, were always on hand tosay goodby to him. His wife stood smiling and waving, the boys shouting, as he disappeared in the old rockaway down the sandy road. A few days later a box arrived for Mrs. Pontellier from New Orleans. Itwas from her husband. It was filled with friandises, with lusciousand toothsome bits--the finest of fruits, pates, a rare bottle or two, delicious syrups, and bonbons in abundance. Mrs. Pontellier was always very generous with the contents of such abox; she was quite used to receiving them when away from home. Thepates and fruit were brought to the dining-room; the bonbons were passedaround. And the ladies, selecting with dainty and discriminating fingersand a little greedily, all declared that Mr. Pontellier was the besthusband in the world. Mrs. Pontellier was forced to admit that she knewof none better.