For this perishable body must put on imperishability, and this mortal body must put on immortality (1 Corinthians 15.53)
In the time and space of this world,
being what we know
and, for now, I think…I believe, all we know,
there is birth and death and all that comes between.
Birth we experience in that we are born,
But, I think, not that we were conscious of being born.
So, it is left to us, awake and aware,
to pay attention to the moments of the births of others;
when, then we can be cognizant of what it is to come into this world.
So, too, with death.
(For in that inexorable end of our temporal-spatial mortality,
I do not think that all, even most of us will know, can know,
in conscious witness, that instant of
the final close of our eyes,
our last breath,
and when all earthly thought is absorbed in infinite vision.)
By taking notice of the end of the lives of others,
we can be alert to what it is to depart from this world.
I wonder. If there, as there is eternity,
will we remember this life in this world,
which, for now, is all we…I know?
Will I remember – and these are a few of my favorite things(1) –
the smell of the freshly mown grass of carefree childhood summers…
the scent of coming rain, the patter of the heavenly font watering the earth;
afore, the intense darkening, then, after, the bright clearing of the sky…
the aroma of coffee signaling the coming of a new day of adventure…
the comforting taste of melt-in-your-mouth chocolate…
the redness of love’s rose and the lily’s resurrection-whiteness…
the hummingbird’s frenetic flight and the bumblebee bouncing flower to flower…
the silken tender touch of care or the melody of a gracious word caressing my ear…
the evocative, eloquently-turned phrase, stirring vivid thought and fervid feeling…
Will I remember? I don’t know. I pray so.
But if not. If eternity is as the cosmos, ever-expanding,
thus, to dwell in that Great Beyond
will be to be too far to reach back in remembrance,
then, now, today and alway,
as long as my breath and sense prevail,
I shall relish these few and more of my favorite things.
(1) From My Favorite Things (1959); words and music by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein, from the musical, The Sound of Music.