Tuesday, September 23, 2008
On The Death of Summer:
I know it’s been a while since I’ve talked about it but death is the subject today. I have been watching the slow demise of nature’s glory in my garden and yard.
The plants give up their fruits and collapse back down to the ground. Others drupe and hang weakly, used up from working so hard in the sunshine to produce the seeds for another generation of flowers.
I watch in wonderment at this phase of the reproduction process. Death. I collect the remnants of the garden and bury them in the compost pile and stop a moment to think about the passage of time. Just like one does at a grave side I stand, shovel in hand. A burial.
I have also been watching Lady Short. She is an old pug dog. Her time is winding down. She sleeps most of the time. She can’t get around well and doesn’t last long on a walk. After a while she will collapse and drag her back end along to tired to go on. I carry her home to sleep some more.
There is a place under some trees that is where the other pets are buried. And there is room for Lady Short there. But I don’t look in that direction much these days. I am not ready to say good-bye yet. I wonder if she will see another snow flake, much less another spring flower.
I have collected with other family members at the bed side of an elder as they took their last breath more then once. Doctors had made them as comfortable as they could. But there is a difference to the death of a much loved pet. Those are more primal, maybe because they have often been in my arms as the last spark of life went out of them.
I never look forward to that time. I’m not an ogre or a ghoul. I don’t get off from death or destruction. I watch, trying to learn something about myself. Because I will one day die myself. And in that moment, I want to understand all I can about endings.