I was once told that destruction is as much a part of our existence as growth. I will say now that this was not meant to endorse or encourage but offer a perspective on a reality that’s bitterness I have grown to feel as a scarf around my neck. What I was told, in essence – what I now know to be true – is that desolation will come to all things, sooner or later.
I find that it is hard to imagine that now, though. In this moment I cannot comprehend anything but beauty. I do not know why it has come to mind, but death is just another concept that I shall embrace with open arms; fear is but symptom of the devil’s hand upon my shoulder… Perhaps desolation will one day come. Perhaps smoke will rise from the earth which we know to harvest life; and I believe that one day it will, but I wonder, when I look around me, how that can be.
The waters weave as the wind sweeps the grass and I sigh with all the heart that I possess. The sun shines for all the world to see, and its heat is retained in the air as the jays chirp and critters scurry about the woodland floor. There is a shadow, though, that hangs from the hornbeams above… In this darkness I am cloaked by doubt, a doubt that sweeps my body as a plague does the land. That sinking feeling comes in the knowing that this day the sun shines, but that this day will be over soon, just the same as days past; just the same as those to come. Summer stretches to autumn and that breeze starts to bite. Today a leaf will fall, tomorrow two. It is hard to conceive that one day it will all be gone. Perhaps such a time will have to pass that this shallow mind is unable to comprehend so long, but it is a time within our existence none-the-less, a day that I fear will be very much the same as this.
Desolation is not a mark but a restart. That is what I have come to take from what I was told, though I think that when we are told such things, about what has been and what is to come, it can be appreciated but never truly believed – not until such a thing is experienced. How can one think about darkness when there is light? How can he think about ashes as a hand reaches to stroke the soft heads of feeble grain, caressed by the heat of day, dim but strong as they stand united?
Even in the grain the question persists. There is life there, and so there is beauty but also death, because all life comes but must also leave. What it does then after, though, is that it comes again in a new form. Even the hornbeams were once seeds, and will one day be something else if not in spirit. Grain grows and it falls and then it grows again, just as men do, just as our sun will and the empire that we have built beneath it. The Earth is born just as it will fade and it will be born again; and what it does is it means only that one cannot help but stop and wonder.
How small we are… What affect our actions will have; what power our minds hold.
What is beyond? I ask. Because my mind seeks to know. Beyond the darkness… There is something beautiful, no doubt, but something that my eyes will never have the chance to see. Just as I will never for myself see the desolation, I will not see my home when it is done. The Earth will be gone but my mind will be free; but that is not to say that beauty will not come again, such is the circle in which we continue to live.
What means that we carry on, is that we do not know what the future holds.
What is to say that the beauty will not come before the fire? What is to say that it is not already here, before our feet? With these lives we can search, but our time is limited. I should spend less about the fields, I know, in ambition of beauty that I can sense but not touch, but this is the place where I have found solace. This is the place in which I have already found beauty…
As death rests a cool palm atop my shoulders, it feels as if I am this world, and I walk within another. I walk the fields of silver-brown painted a distant green and can’t help but think of something beautiful.