Walking through a perfectly normal park I saw a leaf hovering, apparently unsupported, in direct contravention to the laws of gravity:
I meandered over, expecting it to drop as I did so, but it declined and, even as I got closer, it stayed resolutely stuck to the same bit of air like a blip in the matrix, only this time the blip was a leaf and the matrix was reality.
Reality or not, this leaf was in complete denial that there was a planet beneath it exerting a pull that should have dragged it to the ground. It was achieving something that even the cleverest, lightest human being could not achieve without the aid of some powerful rotors and a lot of fuel. It hung there with an insouciance that only a dead, floating oak leaf can achieve, almost mocking in its disdain for laws.
I mean honestly, if things like leaves aren't going to adhere to gravity, it makes you wonder why Isaac Newton invented it in the first place. I know, it's very handy for harvesting apples and, you know, stopping us falling of the Earth and that, but it can't be one rule for us and one for leaves. That would just lead to anarchy.
I should imagine.
I got closer, and the leaf refused to budge:
There was no wind to keep it up. It had obviously fallen from the trees behind, but halfway down had decided that it didn't want a future as worm-poo and humus, and would stay where it was, thank you very much.
Being of sound analytical mind and objective reductionist bent, I quickly formulated a hypothesis, tested it using common sense and everything I knew about floating leaves, and thus came up with an iron-clad theory about why the leaf could just float in the air when everything else around it had to plummet like Vanilla Ice's career.
It was like an epiphany. No. It was an epiphany! In a flash of intellectual insight, it came to me.
Magic done it.
People aren't that into believing in real magic anymore, which is a shame because here was some proper evidence. A leaf, hanging in the air. It was a wonder, no mistake, and I felt like telling everyone about it. Maybe shouting about it on street corners or going from door to door to tell them where they could see it for themselves, or if not that they could totally take my word for it because I saw it, so what more proof do they need?
Actually, that might be a problem. People have had too many emails from ousted Nigerian economic ministers recently to trust anyone these days.*
I know. Words. People trust words, even venerate them for no good reason. If I wrote about it people would become similarly enamoured with the idea of a leaf being held up by magic, and would come to the only appropriate conclusion that it must be the work of some supernatural force.
Perhaps a higher supernatural force.
I mean, we can't hold a leaf up in the air using just the power of our thoughts so anything, or anyone, that could must have a superior mind!
Maybe infinitely superior.
And if an infinitely superior mind can do something that requires such defiance of the universally accepted dogma that is modern physics, it stands to reason that it would find regulating the rest of our lives a doddle.
If I put this down, along with my conclusions, in a tome of some kind, surely some folk will realise that it is the truth. Actually, it might save a lot of time and effort for all involved if I just write it down as unassailable fact, and then it stops all the tedious arguing that people are wont to do.
I'm not being overly paternalistic when I say this, but it's just that I've already thought it all through, and come to what can only be described as the right conclusion, so what's the point in everybody else going through all that rigmarole, when they can just read, memorise and accept my own divinely-guided meditations? It's like I'm providing a service which stops people having to think for themselves.
The fact that all of this has come from such a simple thing as a floating leaf just strengthens the argument that this supernatural force is superior, in that it knew all it would take to show me how the universe works was to provide me with a simple sign.
You there! You're not praising.
I'll remember that.
Now, although I have obviously been fortunate enough to receive the honour of the sign, I would be the first to concur that I am no better than anyone else. It's simply that I have been . . . what's the word . . . chosen?
Messiah is probably too strong a word, but I am also humble enough to know that if the crown fits . . .
Perhaps an altar, or some sort of large, suitably extravagant building could be constructed at the very site of the Miracle of the Floating Leaf. It's only a car park and recreation area for the local community centre, so it's not as though it benefits many people. A quick fund-raising bash should get me a enough, so I can get the place built and gold-cladded, maybe with a few mill on the side for expenses because after all, I'm not a charity, and what price ultimate truth eh?
A beautiful future awaited anyone who accepted my view of the universe. Not such a rosy outlook for the naysayers, but let's face it, they wouldn't be around for that much longer, and then the world would be in harmony.
Breathing deeply, flushed with potential, I took a respectful, closer look at the focal point of this imminent shift in humanity's future.
Turns out there was a strand of silk holding it up.
Bloody everyday nature, spoiling the imagined majesty of supernatural forces.
* Damn you, Honest Ngozi.