Sunday, September 24, 2006

The Positive Side Of Death

I’m sitting in the sun-drenched garden this morning, amid the rude profusion of nature. Insects and birds flitting about, green boughs and rainbow petals quivering in the breeze. A sweet, pungent aroma of decaying mulch and damp earth mingles with the scents of spring blossom. There is no dichotomy between growth and decay in our garden – they’re inextricable partners.

We tend to embrace living and recoil from dead things, but
if everything kept growing and lasted forever this planet would’ve choked on itself millennia ago. And if we had eternal youth the world would be entirely populated by people as immature and self-obsessed as I was at 20. Now there’s a hideous thought!

Without the mercy of decay, the streets and fields would be piled high with the bodies of accident and murder victims refusing to rot. Since nothing would decompose or die off, there’d be no rest or replenishment for the earth. Fruit and veges would grow all the time and we’d all be buried alive in the supermarket from hell!

No, things aren’t meant to go on indefinitely; we need death – we can’t live without it…


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