In a way, living in the wilderness helps me better understand and accept death. I am surrounded by trees, animals, insects. Their vitality is brilliant. Their death, less visible. It plays a key role. What we consider the opposite of life is actually a complementary process. The humus is symbolic of what nature has put in place to ensure the permanence of life, a continuous cycle in which "nothing is lost, nothing is created, everything is transformed". Observe forest metabolism: plants grow, flourish, become leaf-producing trees. These play their role of photosynthesis before withering and falling to the ground, where they enter, along with other plant debris and micro-organisms of all kinds, into a decomposition process that produces a nutrient-rich organic matter , the humus.
Without humus - without death - life in the forest could not be reborn, so things are done. Ecological agriculture is inspired by laws and the power of life. When I transform organic matter into humus through a process called composting, I produce by fermentation a concentrate of nutrients and bacteria that, once incorporated into the earth, gives it life. My role becomes that of an alchemist conscious that the life given to me, I must contribute to maintain it. Is the amazed witness of these deaths and plant revivals helping me to face my own finiteness? to support the disappearance of my relatives? No. I do not escape fear or sorrow. We humans are beings of emotions. I know that the cells that compose me will not be lost, that they will contribute to the biological continuity of life. But what will be of my mind, of my soul? I do not know. The resurrection promised by religions is not a consolation for me. I have no certainty, come what may! My big problem is whether there is life before death and what life means. We are probably destined to dissipate ourselves and can only, therefore, try to live intensely the life given to us.
But we spoil it by not being present to reality. Our thinking is constantly projected towards the past or the future. We regret what is no more, dread what is not yet. And while we struggle with assumptions, tortured by ever higher aspirations, we forget to savor what is. If we make an inventory, at every moment, of what is given to us, we would see the extraordinary.Nature does not make my death more reassuring. On the other hand, it helps me to see the miracle of life and to feel gratitude for it. Life is all we have. Let's put beauty, compassion, joy. Because what will console us for the disappearance of our loved ones will be to have loved them fully.