Musings

Life at the end of the tunnel

I stare out at the heather skies, feeling the wind chill on my face and forearms. There’s going to be ice out there one day soon, but not yet. Just not yet.

I see my neighbors potted plant wilting away, not for lack of love, but for lack of sunlight. It gets me thinking about death and how all things die. It’s never bothered me that I may die tomorrow, get hit by a bus or struck by lightning. People die. Pets die. Batteries, for sure, die when you need them the most. Some die naturally. Others killed for known or unknown reasons. Some fight to live. Others destined to die. But everyone, everything, cannot live infinitely. Everything, eventually, has a limited lifespan. I’ve come to accept these facts of life. But something else bothers me.

We as human beings, do too, but are blessed with much, much longer life spans. Modern medicine also stacks the deck in our favor, by prolonging life and delaying death. We have the power to effect change, to think, to create, to destroy and recreate, to procreate, to smell, to taste, to love, to be loved. But it’s sad that we end up killing – our hopes, dreams, aspirations, motivations, taste buds, marriage – for reasons that may or may not be important. I see wars, hate crimes, religious intolerance filling my news feeds, but I choose to ignore them. I’m addicted to the unadulterated humanity I’ve experienced all my life. I find it in abundance all around me and refuse to denounce humanity with the example of a few rotten eggs. Why then, do we choose to be messengers of death rather than messiahs of life?

That stupid, dying plant teaches me a lesson. It’s time has come, time to fade away in the autumn of its lifetime and ready itself for the bittersweet embrace of death. Death comes to all, why should that insignificant piece of vegetation be any different? I look at that potted plant and the way it stands in the bullying breeze it tells me that it wants to live, but can’t because it can no longer fight for itself.

So that’s it then, it is when I’d stop fighting for myself that I’ll be doomed to die. There has to be fight left in me. I might not be thinking of dying so soon, but I see my life for what it has become. A routine. The banality of waking up in the morning, crunching numbers at a desk then retiring back to bed, only to rinse, then repeat. I’m taught that, in all the hurt and pain of the daily routine, I need to find comfort in the smiles of strangers and the warmth of my friends. Good times, don’t last very long. And I must reciprocate. Love and tolerance are not a one-way street, I must give much more than I’d ever expect to receive to make my life richer, more meaningful.

I stare out at the heather skies, feeling the wind chill on my face and forearms. There’s going to be ice out there one day soon, but not yet. Just not yet. The darkness that covers my home feels like an extremely, cold, dark tunnel. A tunnel whose end is life itself.

I must embrace life at the end of that tunnel.