The smooth shell of the egg was easily shattered. I held it in my hands and swore to myself that I would keep it close to me and make sure that no harm would come to it. It was so fragile after all and I needed to watch out for it’s safety. As I opened my pocket to check on it’s condition, I discovered that it had smashed. I heard myself gasp at the horror that I felt I had caused. When it fell from the nest and rolled upon the ground, all I had to do was scoop it up and immediately put it back in the nest. There it would remain safe and bide it’s time until Mother Nature awakened these baby birds to tell them to peck their way out of slumber and into life.
But then I was side tracked by the phone. Instead of being a good caretaker, I slipped the precious cargo into my jacket pocket and ran inside the house to get to the phone in time. I talked for a good half hour, completely forgetting about the life nestled in my pocket. What am I thinking these days? Where is my mind? How could this have happened?
So here I stand by the sink, gently scraping bird embryo from the inside of my pocket and feeling sad. Why? What control do I have over life and what is out of my hands? I am reminded that the circle of life is all around me. Do I mourn the ants that I step on and kill as I walk to the back gate? Or do I sing a song in memory of the poor mosquito that, in victory, I’ve smashed upon the bedroom wall because it’s kept me awake all night?
I do feel sad when I see my peonies begin to fade and die in the late spring. I want to make a deal with them to stay around longer because they bring me such happiness and I don’t want to let go. It’s all around us, the drawing near and then the letting go. How do I reconcile this pain? How do I make sense of the loss?
In truth, sometimes I don’t and even when I do, it can be a grueling process. We are so intricately woven, us humans, and when you pluck on one of our chords, another chord vibrates in recognition and then another and another. The depth and the width of our emotions are staggering in their complexity but here is what I do know. In the words of Paramahansa Yogananda; “We mortals have so many misconceptions about death that it has grown in importance and implanted in us the idea of annihilation and pain. Death is simply one of the steps in the soul’s journey from the state of changeable matter to the changeless state of Spirit.”
I couldn’t say it any better. I need to rally myself to remember this sometimes because we are taught to mourn death and fear change in our society but I know this quote is true in every fiber of my body and I have understood this truth since I was very young. I just “knew”. Though initially I may still feel the shock at someone’s passing, it is also coupled with a sense of joy at the flight of the soul and the release of the body. I don’t fear death and because of this knowing, it allows me to enjoy life. It frees me.
So take flight, Little One. You’ll be back to be born and fly another day. For now, I honor you and your creative force … the same one that runs through me, the many ants that crawl upon the surface of this planet and even the (annoying) mosquitos that find joy in their aerodynamic maneuvers in the dead of the night.