Wednesday, June 20, 2012

the fall of a sparrow

If I'm confused, or upset, or angry, if I can go out and look at the stars I'll almost always get back a sense of proportion. It's not that they make me feel insignificant; it's the very opposite; they make me feel that everything matters, be it ever so small, and that there's meaning to life even when it seems most meaningless. 
--Madeleine L'Engle

"everything matters, be it ever so small"

The other day, I walked by the lakes, and as I was crossing the road back to my dorm, I noticed a small animal figure on the pavement. I gasped an "OH" when I realized what it was. It was a freshly killed squirrel. The blood was still bubbling out of it's broken little body. [Well, not that little. Honestly, rather plump. It had been well-fed on dining hall cookies.] But it was a horrific sight. I don't know that I've ever seen a creature who had just died. I've seen roadkill, but never roadkill that only a few minutes before was a living, breathing animal. A fluffy little creature, hopping, running about, a joyful part of the beautiful creation around it. To be honest, it gave me this awful sick feeling in my stomach. You may think I'm being a sap, because it was just a squirrel. But still. Death is death. And there's something horribly unnatural about it. It's unnatural to see a creature born for life, lying still as a stone, it's warm blood pooling around it. There's something bizarre and out of place about the thought that if I had walked by five minutes sooner, I wouldn't have seen that squirrel dead, it would have been living. Five minutes makes such a difference.

So I walked up the grassy hill to my dorm, thinking about the little squirrel life that was no more. That was my first experience of seeing anything dying. It was just kind of awful. Then, I looked over, and running about in a very natural squirrel-y manner was another little [read: plump] squirrel. And that little squirrel running around the tree gave me such a rush of joy. It was such a happy sight. I was overwhelmed by the comforting knowledge that life can still thrive in the midst of death. Death--the violent end of life--that inevitably approaches does not have the last word. The Resurrection lies in store. 

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