Life and Death

I went for a walk with my son.

We were discussing the nature of life, and it’s brevity. He made some comments about how he was afraid to die, and afraid of when I would die.

“Yes,” I said, “Dying is part of life. But when you think about it, even death is life.”

“What do you mean?” He asked.

I looked around on the ground and spotted a dead beetle. It had been infiltrated by an army of ants, crawling through its corpse and carrying bits and pieces back to their nest.

Gruesome. Right?

“Look at this beetle,” I said to my son, “Is it alive or dead?”

“Dead,” he responded without hesitation.

“Now look at these ants. The dead beetle is their food. So is it really death or is it life?”

“Life,” he responded as quickly as before.

I smiled.

“And what the ants don’t eat will decay. And the decayed bits will feed the plants around it. So is this death or is it—“

“Life.”

I smiled again.

“All things are connected. Not even connected, but intertwined. You cannot find death without life and life without death. They are, in a sense, one. When death visits, it is not only to make room for new life, but provides the very means for new life to spring forth.”

We continued our walk in silence.

(C) 2021 Barbara Gray – no content may be used or reproduced without permission of the author.

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