Words of consolation from John Muir’s journals:
“The rugged old Norsemen spoke of death as Heimgang–home-going. So the snow-flowers go home when they melt and flow to the sea, and the rock ferns, after unrolling their fronds to the light and beautifying the rocks, roll them up close again in the autumn and blend with the soil.
Myriads of rejoicing living creatures, daily, hourly, perhaps every moment sink into death’s arms …
All the merry dwellers of the trees and streams, and the myriad swarms of the air, called into life by the sunbeam of a summer morning, go home through death, wings folded perhaps in the last red rays of sunset of the day they were first tried. Trees towering in the sky, braving storms of centuries, flowers turning faces to the light for a single day or hour, having enjoyed their share of life’s feast–all alike pass on and away under the law of death and love.
Yet all are our brothers and sisters and they enjoy life as we do, share heaven’s blessings with us, die and are buried in hallowed ground, come with us out of eternity and return into eternity …
Death is a kind nurse saying, “Come, children, to bed and get up in the morning”–a gracious Mother calling her children home.”
This is beautifully said and written….certainly a truth of our beloved mother.
Gentleness, restfulness, gratitude. . .so many words, and none, love.
That is one of the most natural and earth-laden views of death I have ever read. Returning to the arms of Mother Earth sounds very warm and huggie by Mr. Muir. No wonder he spent so much time walking with this kindred spirit during his life. Wonderful poem as usual.
Yes, Marty, I tend to turn to Muir, Burroughs, Thoreau, other naturalistic thinkers in these matters. The natural seems so much more beautiful than supernatural fictions.