Life cycles

Laugh tracks in the Dust


We are in the midst of beautiful autumn. That means, we are watching life’s circles unfold. Last week, we had 4.5-inches of blessed rain and runoff. That moisture jump-started all the drought-dormant fall grasses and fall flowers. The Flint Hills are now ablaze in yellows of all descriptions — sunflowers of all types, broomweed, goldenrod and a host of others I can’t name. The purple Blazing Star plumes are abundant in the pastures. Some of the tree leaves are turning yellow.
Fall is a wonderful season for me. The crops get harvested. The livestock’s winter feed supply is (hopefully) in place. Ultimately, the leaves wither, die and drop to resupply soil nutrients for next growing season. The prairie tallgrasses brown off and go winter-dormant.
The worst thing about fall to me is that it’s followed by the long-cold nights of winter. But, thanks to life’s consistent life cycles, it’s reassuring to know that winter will eventually be surplanted by the new life of spring.
This past week, two good friends passed from the scene. And, our daughter and son-in-law had to put an end to the suffering of their faithful 15-year-old canine companion, Sami. She is now buried on our new homesite.
As we folks who are still kicking contemplate what we see as the finality of death, in actuality, spirituality aside, it’s just a natural part of our earthly life cycle.
That’s why I was comforted a bit, last week — and had to smile, too — when I was going through one of my dad’s cousin’s long-ago yellowed paper files and found the poem titled “Reincarnation.” It was noted as clipped decades ago from “Mother’s Magazine.” The author is unknown. I’ve never heard of the magazine either.
Here’s the poem for you to contemplate:
”What is, reincarnation?”
A farmer asked a friend ,
”Well, it starts,”
his old pal tells him,
“when your life comes to an end.
They wash your neck and comb your hair,
and clean your fingernails,
Then they sticks you in a padded box,
away from life’s travails.
Now the box an’ you goes in a hole
that’s been dug in the ground,
And reincarnation starts, my friend,
when they plant you neath that mound.
The clods melt down, as does the box,
an’ you who are inside,
And that is when you’re beginning
your transformation ride.
And in a while, the grass will grow
upon that rounded mound,
Until some day upon that spot,
a lonely flower is found.
And then a horse might wander by
and graze upon that flower,
That once was you an’s now become
your vegetative bower.
Well, the flower that the horse done ate,
along with his other feed,
Makes bone an’ fat an’ muscle ,
essential to this steed.
But there’s a part that he can’t use
‘an’ so it passes through,
And there it lies upon the ground,
this thing that once was you.
And if by chance I happen by
an’ see this on the ground,
I’ll stop awhile an’ ponder
on this object I have found.
And I’ll think about reincarnation,
an’ life an’ death an’ such,
And I’ll go away concluding,
‘Heck, you ain’t changed that much!’”
Words of wisdom for the week are: “As I watch this generation try and rewrite our history, I’m sure of one thing: it will be misspelled and have no punctuation.” Have a good ‘un.


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