Temas Especiales

30 de Jun de 2022


The circle of life

Turning off the Interamericana towards the Omar Torrijos Park, I reached the end of the dirt road leading towards the mountains. There, ...

Turning off the Interamericana towards the Omar Torrijos Park, I reached the end of the dirt road leading towards the mountains. There, I paused to admire the view that the residents of an old cemetery enjoy ? row upon row of mountains, and lush green valleys spreading out for as far as the eye can see. It was strange to find myself here.

Just moments earlier, no one else in view, I’d witnessed the amazing sight of a calf being born in an open field.

Nature was doing its thing without human intervention.

I watched, fascinated, as the mother of the latest edition to the the herd licked the newborn clean, and the umbilical cord severed as the calf bleated its first tentative sounds.

Mom stood guard, glaring at me with threatening eyes as I took photographs of her newborn’s first shaky steps.

The calf struggled to its feet and stood there. I called out hoping it would turn its head and look at me, a move that elicited a threatening move from the new mother.

The youngster eventually turned and looked at me, took its first steps and quickly discerned where the lunchroom was located. I retreated to let baby eat in peace.

A short distance after, the road ended at an ancient cemetery, the final resting place of rural folks, I figured.

Though some of its monuments had fallen into disrepair, a few of the graves were carefully tended.

I mused on what each person had done during their lifetime guided by the cross that had been chosen to adorn the grave.

One cross was made of fine mosaic tile, another a simple wooden cross, and another made of of two pieces of rusted steel welded together.

A well-to-do resident laid to rest on the highest point of the hill overlooking the mountains had a tidy roof structure to shade her from the blistering sun.

A heap of discarded crosses at the entrance to the cemetery struck me as a somber testament to how brief and insignificant our stay on this planet can be.

I am not a morbid person, but seeing a site like this all by yourself, you tend to consider your own mortality.

I stood there thinking of how unimportant our little upsets are in the overall scheme of life, and began to list all the quips about life I could recall.

It is, so they say, way too short. Where there’s a will, I want to be in it.

The floodgates open and truisms about the circle of life and death swirl around in my mind.

I stop myself when I get to that old cycle of life joke about our goals never really change, how we start out with trying not to dirty our diapers at one year old and ending the same at 93.

I vowed to spend less time arguing over the little things, to try to enjoy each day and make the lives of the people around me a little more enjoyable, unless of course they disrupt my newly found philosophical bent.

I turned my truck around, and headed back toward the highway.

Yes, life is short, and we must all try to enjoy the time we have. Lucky for me — and you —we live here, in this beautiful place, where we can awake everyday to the promise of a breathtaking vista, a warm, gentle breeze and a bounty of natural wonders that serve to remind us how greatlife is, if only we take the time to enjoy it.