Have been contemplating death–and life–since yesterday’s visit to the cemetery.
How hard it can be to say goodbye to those we love. How hard it is to watch our loved ones die. How hard it can be to let the earth claim the bones of our precious friend or family.
I think how death is our constant companion–whether we are aware of its presence or not.
I think how we cannot walk in the woods without killing ants and insects.
How death walks alongside life, daily.
How we are forced to let go of things we love all the time. We become attached to people, places, things. Life moves on and death dances in–and life changes all around us.
We hurt with the passing because we have loved the old form so much. We hurt because we’re scared of our own mortality. Because the old was comfortable, familiar, precious, dear. Because the new is still uncomfortable, unfamiliar, disconcerting.
We take a deep breath and allow ourselves to love the new.
Sometimes it takes time.
Life is always changing, dancing. Every in-breath follows an out-breath. Every sunset follows a sunrise. Every winter follows an autumn. Every flower follows a seed.
Life teaches us–oh patient teacher!–to release as surely as we grasp. To kiss goodbye as surely as we hug hello. To allow “letting go” to be a precious practice, a precious love.
This morning the sun rises–whether we see it or not. Flakes of snow may blow on the horizon. How gracefully can we release autumn’s golden splendor? How gracefully can we surrender to precious white, icy cold, twinkling snowy beauty?
Will we fret or will we allow the new to show us its gifts, its still-hidden possibilities?
Thank you, death, for teaching us to live more fully. To taste more exquisitely. To feel more intensely. To appreciate what we have–while we still have it.
To death, dear reader. To life!