And what of an afterlife? In our humanness, the question stays too small. Like crabs on the bottom asking each other if there is life after the ocean. What if one thing is supposed to carry another? What if the purpose of the snake is to keep the process of shedding alive? And the purpose of being human is to keep the process of loving alive? What if heaven for the wave is evaporating into sand? And destiny for the fox is that when he dies he will live inside the coyotes that eat him? What if paradise for rain is the root it swells in the dark? What if reincarnation is not one to one, but more like leaves broken down to mulch? What if we disperse into all that we love? What if your kindness becomes part of the lake that held you? And my heart becomes part of the wood that braces a bridge that saved me? And Susan’s ability to listen becomes part of the canopy that shades those tired on the way? What if Robert’s unshakeable belief in all that is unnameable becomes the bent nail that keeps the barn from falling? What if our tears and sweat irrigate the dreams of those yet to be born?
A Question to Walk With: Imagine what you might become in the next life that would represent who you are.
This excerpt is from my book, Things That Join the Sea and the Sky: Field Notes on Living.
*Photo credit: Tyler Lastovich