On Friday it will be Winter Solstice. A day two years ago that the concept of death was introduced to my children, where we intellectually explored the subject for the first time, and physically felt the sharp dagger of loss in each of our own hearts.
“When your number’s up… your numbers up.” My husband says. But in the great lotto game in the sky, it’s the one time you don’t want your number to come up – just keep on rollin’.
So what comes after?
In a recent discussion it was impressed upon me that NOT believing in God was a religion. Atheism is a religion.
“Religion is anything you believe in. Like golf.. or yoga.”
Excuse the pun but I ain’t diggin’ that.
There are many men of faith who believe that yoga is a religion and therefore incompatible with those who have a faith and thus only practiced by heathens.
I realise that yoga’s roots to Hinduism does not help…
But yoga is not a religion. It is a practice of the mind – through the body, that teaches us how to escape the human condition of suffering created by the mind.
So what comes after?
Last summer a cornucopia of pink Bougainvilliea flowers blew into my house, collected in corners, blocked my vacuum cleaner and mingled with the dust bunnies under the bed.
Skipper had come home.
He had lain for a year under the Bougainvilliea since that fateful Winter Solstice eve, leaking his vitals into this magnificent tree – which that summer had became more magnificent than ever.
For me allowing the flowers to blow through the house became deeply meaningful.
Old dog meet new dog.
At home we like to explore the different ideas of what comes after. Often we talk about reincarnation. The kids do Buddhism at school and we talk about the Buddhist teachings of reincarnation as a constant state of return to suffering – to put it bluntly. Until you evolve and learn your life’s lesson you will constantly be sent back.
Sounds sinister. Maybe going to heaven might be nicer.
I do know that energy constantly transmutes itself into different forms of energy – like how kinetic energy becomes potential energy. Radiation is energy from electromagnetic waves, light energy from heat… and so on.
So how can life just end?
I still don’t know what comes after.
But I know that life is fragile, yet robust.
I know that often we miss life in this moment… reliving the past, or in the future
forgetting that life is in the flicker of your eye as you look into your child’s eye,
or your lovers
tasting the sweet sensation of cold ocean water breaking on your skin
or feeling for an instant your breath enter your body, and leave again
and that marvellous pause in between when your body seems
to know how to take another breath.
So what does comes after?