“If they keep exposing you to education, you might even realize some day that man becomes immortal only in what he writes on paper, or hacks into rock, or slabbers onto a canvas, or pulls out of a piano.”
~ Robert Ruark, The Old Man, and the Boy
4.54 billion years ago, the Earth began to form, first as a gaseous ball the spun from a solar nebula, and in time, approximately another billion years, the first record of microbial life appeared.
We are all just microbes that have mutated and transformed over billions of years until they became able to do important things like build atom bombs, conspiracy theories, and recipes for “better than sex cake.”
In about 5 billion years, our sun will die and with it, our solar system.
I won’t be here to worry about it, and neither will you, or humanity I suspect.
We will most likely have long since destroyed each other and much of the planet’s living creatures - like bad tenants who punch holes in the walls and cover the carpet in urine and empty beer cans before finally being evicted by Mother Nature.
It doesn’t have to be this way…but our collective behavior leans in that direction and I suspect if we don’t lean back soon, the gig is up.
In geologic time, we don’t even amount to being fleas on the backside of a giant dog.
We are like a rash that irritates everything around it but won’t last any longer than the things it is irritating.
Still, when the itching starts, that rash makes all the difference in the world.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to be a rash on the butt of the Earth.
The only thing good about graveyards is that some of the best ones preserves old trees and therefore act as a better testimony to what the Earth once was, while saying little about what we once were.
The remains of people long forgotten, now taking up space in airtight boxes under neatly groomed artificial lawns, are a tragic waste of that space, and our last gasp attempt to deny our place in the food chain. (Microbes to Microbes – the truest Circle of Life.) Except for the trees between the gravestones, it is all unnatural. It is all a silly game of make-believe whereas we mere humans- seek immortality.
It’s not for me.
If I give something of value to this world it will come in the form of shared thoughts, discoveries, struggles, failures, occasional triumphs that may ease the journey of another.
It will come as the comfort I offer another when I share that I too have fallen, many times, and have gotten back up, learned from the fall, and carried on.
We are all just raindrops falling and every raindrop is going home, eventually.
We fall, we tumble, we mingle, and we return to the sea, so that we can rise up once again,
as morning mist
and that mist becomes a cloud
and the cloud becomes a spring shower
falling back to Earth
so that flowers bloom and songbirds sing,
once again, as they have for generations.
Life is a circle, not a line.
No matter what we do, it is only for Now.
There is no such thing as “forever after.”
I’m fine with that.
I’m not sure when my time will come to reach the sea.
It may be in two decades or two days.
But I know that I began the process of leaving the moment I was born.
And when I go, I won’t be enclosing my molecules, matter, or energy in some air-tight box.
I won’t expect the side of a mountain to be cut open to engrave a slice of its stone heart with my name and epitaph.
Instead, I will allow those elements that once carried “me” to return to the soil or the sea.
Like songbirds do.
Like fish do.
Like everything else that was once living, eventually does.
It’s only natural.