On Life

I see a dead praying mantis on the ground at the platform in Burlington Station while I’m waiting for the train. I think it’s kind of sad
but then I see a little ant busy at work on it.
That mantis is fulfilling another purpose now.
A different place in the food chain, nourishing that ant.
I think about how when I die, at some point my body
will feed bugs too. And plants.
And then other bigger animals will eat those.
At some point I guess it could be a
human eating a plant or animal that was nourished by me, by my body,
somewhere previously up the line.
And same goes for what I eat now. I may consume things that have been
indirectly fed by nutrients of other humans.
No matter if I only eat plants.

The earth nourishes my body. But if my body also nourishes the earth and eventually becomes part of it (and it will),
then where, really,
do my boundaries lie?
I am struck by a suddenly obvious awareness, so,
I am the earth.

I am born of it and I die as it.
I don’t disappear, I
metamorphosize.
Continually and eternally, I
metamorphosize.
(A butterfly briefly captures my attention in this exact moment, but I don’t recognize its cliché timing.)
Each form, like my current one, is a
unique and temporary
extension of nature.
But these changes only alter the
who of me, not the
what of me.

If the trees and I come from the same earth, then we
share
in what we are.
In some real sense, I am those trees.
It seems clear in this moment that that is why nature can awe us: because we are
perceiving something of ourselves
in something so grand.
It shatters the edges of our limits so deeply,
that the knowledge rests subconscious.
But even a subconscious knowing that we are one with something so
epic and so entire, that we are of
the same
- different outlines on the same paper -
those are moments in which we cannot help but sense the absolute
magic and grace of all of this.
All of us.