James A Rutherford Funeral Home
THE RENEWAL YEAR
Nature is perfect. Its persistence. Subtle and inspiring. Mighty, and yet an intimately hidden power. It renews. A flower emerges again and again even from the tiny crack in the concrete. We don’t always feel its preparations. We don’t always appreciate its dressings in season, before we realize the season is already upon us. When it comes, it comes in a glorious burst, like trumpets. Or it comes softly, like a bow arcing on a violin string, in tiny buds and infinitesimal sprouts along the crust of the earth – becoming seen like music becomes heard over the crest of a hill.
Uninterrupted, the earth and sky embrace to create this music for us. And it never ends.
Nature doesn’t argue. Nor does it condemn when it is wounded. It responds because it is fair. It maintains life, harmonious and symbiotic – a mutually beneficial relationship with everything in its midst. It doesn’t force harmony with us or with anything else around it; instead revealing itself gently, and in this way, it gives – so long as it is given to. If it keeps giving without return then it suffers, its soul emptied, as ours would be emptied if it were gone.
How are we like it?
Commonplace yet unique, imbued with life and imbued with death like the natural world – it is there that we may look for the similarities. We are part of it, organic and growing. And absolutely everything in nature performs a valuable function. We know this. Plants don’t need to be taught, told or search for what to do. They perform their functions automatically. Purifying air. Releasing nutrients. Providing shelter. The only thing we do automatically like that is “knowing” how to be born and how to die. The rest we must learn. And as everything in the natural world does, we too will decompose – the soil our common grave, the air our common spirit. We breathe it in while we walk above the bones of others.
Some of us can’t recognize the patterns of our home that nature continuously and incessantly shows us. It is our own pattern. Birthing, thriving, decaying and dying. Constant – year after blessed year that is given us. And nature returns from the stuff of its own decline. A rebirth from the soil of its own decay.
Why shouldn’t we?
What is our “soil” then? In what does our renewal sit? Not in the decay of the body. Could it be the firmament of the mind? The stuff, the energy, the spirit that has given us the ability to exalt ourselves through the way in which we choose to think? That is what separates us from all other material things, is it not? Thinking? Conscious awareness of ourselves? If we don’t raise ourselves up through the soil of our own poor thoughts and into the light of fruitful and compassionate thinking; what are we but walking stems who choose to shade our own unique gifts and each other out from the enlightenment that makes the soil of our minds fertile?
And you might ask: “Why should our thoughts be fruitful and compassionate?” Well, because we are not alone. As trees have been discovered to be in communion with one another and actively help each other thrive – as much as we feel, believe or think ourselves to be alone, we are not, nor can we ever be. Eventually when we reach a tipping point, we will sink or we will swim, because of the way we all interact. The earth is fertile, or it is full of poison. Once the illusion of “my land,” “your land,” “my country,” “your country” is recognized, the soil of the planet is seen; the soil from which we all thrive physically. Our mind is fertile, or it is full of poison. Once the illusion of “I,” “me,” “mine” is recognized, the soil of the mind is seen; our common soil from which we all thrive emotionally.
The renewal year is upon us. And once again, the same question sits in the old years chair before we get up out of it: “How will I choose to live this year, for myself and for others.”
UNTIL SOON. LIVE WELL.