On What We Become.
I passed a family laying a wreath at the roadside this morning; a young soldier on his way home for the day was killed by an oncoming driver. The tire tracks marking the car’s final attempt still fresh up the pavements edge. An older woman kneeled and wept (I presume she may have been the Mother).
There’s a beauty, oddly, even amidst these dire circumstances – this outpouring of love in the midst of crisis, a family joined through impermeable bonds. In this moment, nothing masked the honesty of their emotions.
It’s one of the more delicate certainties of being human.
We are born, we live, we die…and, somewhere in between, the soul awakens. No matter how well we live, the efforts we take towards balance and harmony – we can not escape our own ‘becoming’.
I remember the night my son was born; watching him alone in the bassinet, I was suddenly quite fearful. How could I protect this innocent soul through life? Losing him was my greatest worry. But then one day I realized, I wanted him to know.
I wanted him to know the taste of rain in the air following a heavy storm; the joy of a puddle splashing up his backside during a hot summer’s day. I wanted him to flip over rocks and capture salamanders with his bare hands. To know the taste of salt dripping from his sweat-soaked skin.
And, even though there might be pain – I wanted him to know what it meant to be adored through another’s eyes.
I’m not sure why, though the sight of this family helped to carry this lesson home.
“Our individual life is an expression of the whole mystery,” writes Jack Kornfield, “and in it we can rest in the center of the movement, the center of all worlds.”
In the center of all worlds, we stand alone – raw and unobscured. In the end, we become what we’ve lived.
I stopped to offer my condolences, of course. “Thank you,” she said, not realizing how this young man’s life continued to share.