Reflections about death and life

I think I have a rather anxious mind. I notice that I always find something to worry about. It is of course not on purpose, and I suspect that it is a way to ‘entertain’ my mind. Or a habit? Or both…

Anyhow, one of my rather constant worries is nature. I often think about how human activity affects the local natural environment. Maybe because I notice it more now than when I was younger.

During the Spring, I have learned to notice the amount of birds that come to nest in gardens, the city and by the sea. We now know that we should be mindful when walking on the shore not to come close to where the birds are not to stress them and/or step on their eggs.

I don’t know if it is my perception or if this year there are more bird chicks everywhere, and unfortunately, not all of them survive.

A couple of times in the beginning of the Summer, I came across a dead chick bird. First I felt sad, and I worried for their species. Then, I thought, ‘well, at least that bird is not suffering anymore’. In both cases, I had a long mental discussion about life and death.

Life is interesting, isn’t it? From the moment a being comes to life, it is certain that it will die, and in between, there will be some struggles. For animals, it is mainly a struggle to survive long enough to reproduce. And for us humans?

It seems like most of us would like to live a long life and we wish the same for others, especially those close to us. Death is something we dread, but why? Instinct?

What do we plan to do with a long life? How do we live it? In constant anxiety and worry? How much good do we make and how much harm? Where do we find our propose of being alive?

I like to observe our cat. She has a safe home and food. She spends a lot of time sleeping like all cats, but she also has what I see as her everyday chores. She protects her territory from the other cats in the neighborhood, she ‘talks’ to the magpies through the window and tries to hunt -oftentimes without luck to our big relief. I remember once thinking, why does she stress so much? She doesn’t need to hunt since we feed her, and the other cats have their own homes. But that is her instinct. That is probably what makes her life ‘purposeful’. She most probably doesn’t have the awareness to decide not to stress unnecessarily.

But we do. Still, we often choose to keep moving. Keep running. Either chasing something or escaping from something. Acting impulsively. Creating more suffering for ourselves and others.

Life seems like a mystery to me and I often wonder why we dread death so much when we spend so much time in pain whilst alive.

I believe in working with the aspects of my mind that add unnecessary and unfounded suffering to my life and those around me. I don’t know what the future will bring to me, I don’t know how long I will live, but maybe the most important for me is how I live.

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