There’s an old graveyard that came with this farm. The last readable headstone date reads 1860; the others are far more ancient and illegible. The house nearby in which some family lived is long gone, and only a few foundation stones remain. Soon the ground will be covered with leaves and the fall flowers will have had their last hurrah. I stand and ponder the victory time has over all things.
Katrina and I walk to the old cemetery often and wonder about the nameless who found their way there. It was just spring the other day, and the old graveyard was awash in colors as daffodils crowded together in solemn assembly. Suddenly, the heat of this past summer was upon us. It seems like yesterday that I carried buckets of water to refresh the wilted flowers of August and to keep the blueberries from joining the interred residents.
Our gardens too have been harvested, and the dry leaves and stems will also be interred in the soil. In time the composted materials will give birth to new life. Our pets, family, and friends also follow nature’s dictates, as does everything the human eye can cast its light upon.
The supreme law of impermanence and eternal change can be felt as seasons turn and we contemplate our lives.
Arrogantly we seek immortality, never grasping that the seeking takes us out of the only place it can be found. Projecting ourselves into the future only impales us onto the great wheel of change. Much like splitting an atom, there is an explosion within consciousness that divides and splits the past from the future, and suddenly life is found. All else, as an ancient wise king was once forced to confess, is “vanity, vanity and dust in the wind.”
Life abundant is before us now, in all its glory. Pray that we never become so blinded by issues and petty concerns that we stumble season upon season, squandering our lives over trinkets, only to have the winter winds freezing our bones with regrets. I have found that only when I am beyond my thoughts am I truly alive. Only when I am present do I taste the nectar of immortality. Thus I have chosen simple living so as to be able to live more deliberately, more intensely, more consciously. Long walks in meadow and forest with my wife and dogs, listening to the songs of brook and birds, inhaling the scents of damp earth and cool air, walking and actually feeling the soil under my feet— these simple joys sing of life.
It makes my senses reel to be in the presence of such beauty. May we be so blessed as to witness the turning of the great wheel from the vantage point of its empty hub! Yes, dear friend, soon the ground will be covered with leaves and the fall flowers will have had their last hurrah. May you find the one thing that never changes and rejoice in that sweet peace.
Reflections from Turtle Lake,