Life and a Death in the Common Age

Much of what I write is written to me.

I write of love and being positive and hopeful. I am speaking to myself, because most days it is hard to be that type of person. So, I preach to myself about the things I need to do and how I need to interact with other human beings.

But, it is so very hard. It’s becoming harder every day. It’s difficult to care. But the sun will come up tomorrow and the sun will set.

We have all seen them. Those beautiful Sunrises. If you’ve been a friend of mine on social media for any amount of time you’ve seen plenty of pictures of sunrises which I thought were beautiful.

Those mornings when the light turns dozens of colors behind a scant screen of clouds. Everything from muted purples to magenta, to bright blood red. How does a beautiful Sunrise make you feel?

For me the beginning of the day, which is signified by that marvelous sunrise, symbolizes a daily rebirth. A new beginning, a time when everything is new again and all options for doing things wonderful, useful, loving, and kind are open. It renews my soul. It tells me in no uncertain terms that I am alive, and that I have been treated to the sight of some of the most beautiful colors in nature. I so appreciate life and the chance to live it. To experience other people, people who I love and who love me. To touch another person, even to simply shake hands, or to brush back the hair of my daughter or sons, my grandchildren, or my wife from their foreheads is an experience that I will only get to enjoy once. Just once, that I will remember in any case. The moments we have will never happen again, just like the moments in the pictures I take. Those photos are a frozen moment in time which will never happen again.

I can taste food for another day and hear music. I don’t really even care what kind most of the time…I generally like it all. I get the privilege of talking and interacting with other people, most of the time in a positive manner. All of this starts with the beautiful Sunrise that I saw when I drove down the road today.

Then there are the stupendous Sunsets. I look out my back door at them often, and take photos that do not do any justice towards how beautiful they really look.

How does a gentle sunset make you feel?

The colors are a similar palette as was the Sunrise, but the feelings are different. Day is leaving. I feel peaceful. I feel content. My tasks for the day are done and I am heading towards the house to rest. I hear the word to “taps” in my head frequently:

“Day is done, gone the sun,

From the lake, from the hills, from the sky;

All is well, safely rest, God is nigh.”

Many times in the past I was headed towards my home from work, to my familiar place, my territory. I had accomplished all I could during the day and I was satisfied. Maybe I should have tried to do more, I feel that way practically every day still. But in the awesome light of the Sunset I felt happy…. tired but happy. I knew I would be glad to get home, and see the ones that I love. My tasks that others would have me do were over. I would eventually lay down that night, and rest my weary body, happy to have seen another day on this Earth.

Life and Death are like the sunrise and sunset. Both are beautiful in their own way, similar, yet vastly different. It’s what happens in between, what we….make happen in between, that forms the legacy of our lives. It’s the appreciation mixed with sorrow, of getting to see the sunrises and sunsets of other peoples lives that hopefully will make us appreciate our own and be less afraid of the final sunset that we all must come to one day. Not melancholy, but happy to have shined and to have enjoyed being in the light. I know I am. I’m glad I have cared.

We all fear the unknown, and not knowing what’s on the other side of that last Sunset is scary. Even to those who are secure in their beliefs and solid in their convictions. I experience that fear, we all probably do when we think about it. But I believe the spark within us that makes us what we are goes on and on, and we are meant to all be together again. I’m not exactly sure how. I’ll never know exactly how until it’s too late to write it down on a page, or take a photo of it.

So, here I have again, added to those many soliloquies I have written to myself but shared with others. I hope you don’t mind.

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