A few days ago I was meandering through the forest with my son and baby girl, who was strapped to my chest and fast asleep. I was walking on the beaten path, of which I am always ready to step off. I heard two Owls hooting at each other so I slowly deviated off course to investigate. My six year old son was busy “chopping down the forest” with his play sword so I had some time to myself. As I walked I came upon a tall and majestic yet dead deciduous tree. It stood about 40 feet tall with about 100 thick branches reaching for the sky all about 10 to 20 feet long. As I stood there gazing at them looming over me, I began to look through the branches and discovered the younger, but much taller, pine trees swaying in front of the beautiful blue sky and wispy clouds. The wind was slightly robust which urged the pliable young pines to wave dramatically. This made me realize that like these trees we too are meant to sway and bend when the winds of life blow against our bows. I then pondered the question: what happens when the winds are actually too strong and the once strong but flexible pine does break and fall to the ground? The answer came to me immediately; Life never actually ends, it simply continues to change form. A tree falls over a brook and turns into a bridge for a father and son to walk over. Another tree falls on the ground and begins to become an enormous luxury housing development for hundreds and thousands of creatures big and small. As time goes on it becomes a smorgasbord of food for even more creatures. As this process it taking place all sorts of gasses are produced that help create the air we breathe and heat is also produced that contributes to the climate that we enjoy. Finally the tree is broken down and becomes the soil that forever feeds and nourishes the surrounding trees and vegetation.
So how does this relate to us? Well when our body dies there are at least two ways in which we continue to live on. The lives that we lead this go around no matter how glamorous or unimportant we think they may be leave an enormous impact on the world around us. Just think of how many people we come in contact with since we were small children. The number would have to be in the high thousands. A good portion of these were most likely casual encounters, some close friends and other not so close friends and of course family members. The point is that we are much more powerful than we’d like to think. We have made impacts on all of the lives we have been in contact with, and those people impacted the people in their lives a bit differently because of the influence we had on them. A simple smile, the opening of a door or simply the understanding and compassion of enabling someone to be their self can influence someone immensely. When we die the things we had done are usually embraced and remembered by those who miss us. So by passing on we actually reiterate the life we have led to those who knew us which in turn changes them and the things they do.
And finally, the way I understand it, we transcend the body we inhabited and start again in a different form. Whether you believe that our souls ascend into heaven or that we are reincarnated the point is that nothing ends; Life moves on. God is here with us. God simply is. What does that mean? It means that everything, no matter how big or small, is not only created by God but is God. It took me a long time to realize this. Throughout my life I have had many beliefs and ideals instilled into me that never felt right, mostly because they weren’t mine. I believed them for years because I was told to and because everyone else did. When I was ready to open my eyes and see the truth for myself it finally felt right. Of course I don’t pretend to know all of the details and logistics of how it all works but I remain awake and ready to take it in as it comes. The law of attraction, which is a newly popular phenomenon, has much to do with how our world looks today, but that is an entirely different conversation.
In closing, I would like to say: bend when the winds of life blow your way. It is here to bless you with new lessons and experiences that are meant to expand your life and your understanding of it. No matter what you do the wind is going to keep on blowing so you might as well go with it.
Zachery Robert Davis