There is One Source, everywhere, always.
— Abigail Van Buren, aka “Dear Abby.”
Two weeks ago I noticed a hole where my roof and a downspout meet, and saw two birds - one with a twig in its mouth - fly into that hole. I called a handyman to come seal the hole up; when he arrived a few days later and took a look at it, because I mentioned I was worried about causing any harm, he said it was too early in the season for the birds to lay eggs, and so he’d seal the hole up by the weekend. I told him if there were eggs in the nest, to save it and I’d take the nest and the eggs to a nearby wildlife sanctuary. He came and sealed the hole, as it happened when I was out of town for a few days, and when we get in touch he told me there were eggs in the nest, but the hole was too small to get the nest out, so he just sealed it up. By then it was too late to do anything about this tragic mistake.
I feel horribly, I should’ve told him to rip my roof apart to get the eggs out of there if he found any. Those poor little baby birds, dead in their shells, up in my roof for all time. I am responsible, I should’ve just let the birds nest, lay eggs, and move on. I feel so badly and wish I could undo what I’ve done. And those poor baby birds’ parents, they no longer come by, for obvious reasons. I feel so bad for all of them and I can’t do anything to fix it. I think of them, their souls, and ask God’s forgiveness. Why didn’t I just let things be?
I know I am born of the stuff of the universe and so through whatever mystery I was created I am aware my dissolution is guaranteed.
What is most painful to me is not the fear and anxiety of oblivion - which is terrifying on its face - but the sadness that everyone, every creature that I love is similarly fated. Buddhists, Hindus and others say we are all one; Campbell says the gods are beyond names and forms and we must surrender to and be annihilate in the universal will. Still, one can participate in the mystery of the universe and of life, knowing we face the unknown when we die, and still weep at the notion the ones we love may experience oblivion when they, too, complete the cycle.