Sunday, November 17, 2013

Riding the carousel of life

Pondering again how everything that lives now will die, and everything that lived before us, has died, and the constant flow of this process sweeps us all along relentlessly in this tide of life-to-death-to-life. Life springs from the fecund soil of dead things. If we are living, this is the bargain we all must keep -- we must die.

Why should I be able to keep this mortal life, this mixture of pain and pleasure, forever? Why should I be so cursed? Why should I be so lucky? Eons and ages of people and other creations of all types have had this same existence, for longer or shorter than I have, and all of them took their turn and bowed out. I suppose that the average lifecycle of all creation is so short, compared to the human lifespan. What an endless age we live, compared to a butterfly! The trees surpass us, what else? (My Google search says koi and turtles, and whales, too. Long-lived Antarctic sea sponges, anyone? Estimated maximum lifespan over 1,000 years)

I cannot linger or tarry when it is my time to go, nor could anyone else. And indeed there is a long line of humanity and all other forms of creation waiting to be born, waiting in an endless line that perhaps stretches over eternity. But to make room for all of them, each of us must take our turn and then leave. The earth cannot possibly support all of this abundant creation at the same time. It takes on a small fraction only. And with the flow of mortality, deaths breed births, breed deaths, cycling. We are here for a season only.

We have such a fleeting time to enjoy or to discover all the curses of life, and most of us find there is plenty of time to do both. Blessings and curses flow together, even seem to create one another.

So I ride round on this carousel of life, not knowing how many turns until the end. It seems I cannot appreciate the honey taste of my mortality on my tongue now. I must hope I will still have the lingering savor left over, after it is done.

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