I love watching the world fall asleep. Dark, low-hanging clouds cover the expanse like a soft blanket. Nature stands erect, stained in piercing crimsons and radiant golds. The intense beauty is a wonder to behold. And we do. As temperatures fall, humanity is drawn into the splendor. We can't help ourselves. It is in us to marvel at that we do not understand. And with synchronicity and precision, fall arrives, and we are compelled to dance in its shadows.
This world is a broken place. Shots ring out on the horizon, and carnage remains. Hurricanes threaten our shores. The deluge swallows people and objects whole. War, hatred, vice, animosity hold court as we grapple with how to depose them. We watch with downcast eyes and shared understanding as the funeral processions march by. Looking full in the face of grief threatens to undo us. So we usually don't. Not directly.
Destruction is always at odds with peace. Upsetting the delicate balance of life is its express occupation. It is inevitable. It is universal. Since the beginning of time, mankind has been trying to answer one resounding question posed by the great deceiver, "Did God really say?" And pouring into that void, doubt fills our hearts and souls as we attempt to reconcile what we say we believe with the expression of that belief amidst our unspeakable circumstances. At the great intersection of faith and action, we are left to ponder how to proceed.
Like fall, we respect the death that winter brings. In nature, we can so easily identify its unstoppable momentum, and we adjust to its velocity with the warmth that home and hearth brings. We give thanks for our blessings and live in anticipation of spring. However, in culture, we abandon that understanding. We spin our wheels attempting to patch the gaping hole that death creates with a Post-It note. In our arrogance, we believe we can set things aright. An unmitigated futility.
It is not our job to solve death. It is not a force we have the power to eradicate. We can't will it, push pills at it, disarm it, or undo it. We are simply inadequate. Perhaps we should approach the destruction of our world as we do nature. Acknowledge it. Respect it. Adjust to it. Live to spite it. Anticipate an eternity without it. And while the world scrambles to solve another death-filled conundrum by debating political agendas, the power of death will remain in time and space despite our best efforts. Evil doesn't fear legislation. Perhaps if we spent as much time at the feet of the only one who has defeated death, we would spend more time living in spite of it. Even dancing in its shadows.
Jennifer Christensen is a high school English teacher and publisher of insecuritydigest.com. She may be contacted at email@example.com.