A walk in the cemetery with a friend (Santa Fe National Cemetery: Santa Fe, NM)
Happy Independence Day everyone! Odd way to start out this entry – death? Freedom? The reality is, there are no fireworks with death. Unless of course there is unexpected death by stray sparks in a busy park… but no need to get morbid.
What I’d like to say is that there is death all around us in every form; in every way, every day. The leaves that fall off trees, allow for new growth to occur on those branches. The weeds we pull from our gardens, free up space for our vegetables and flowers to grow even more fully and beautifully. Once something is gone, it is replaced; there is an in-between. In between, there is freedom. A moment of emptiness, stillness, silence. Anything can happen in those moments. Sometimes it’s days, months, or years. That empty space is all about freedom.
Freedom leads to independence. I’m in a space just recently, where I have tons of freedom, but I can’t fully enjoy it, or act on it, until some things around me have an ending – a death.
Today, is a day we all celebrate Fourth of July, a federal holiday commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776; the day that the United States formally declared its independence from Great Britain therefore achieving freedom from British rule. But who needs or wants a history lesson? To me, it always feels like so much more is celebrated in achieving and maintaining independence.
It’s about allowing myself to have and understand great gratitude and humility for all I have, all that I am, and for expressing inexpressible thanks to the men and women who have given their lives for us spoiled Americans, to continue on as we do.
So, if death in its scary and intimidating ways, becomes the avenue in which I find the paths that will truly lead me to my own freedom, then I can only say to myself, happy dying… because in the dying, there is living – and the happiness that lies in every corner waiting to accost me, in surprising and demanding ways…
(Thanks for the image Kim!)