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The Energy of Living...

I feel it. The amount of energy living takes. Some days it feels as if I have so much energy that the living is easy. Other days, I am slogging through an oatmeal laden life that feels laced with concrete.

It is all still life. Energy in motion.


Happening for me.

Happening to me.

Day after day, minute by minute, hour by hour.


I have felt lately that I am coming undone, but really, I am beginning to feel like I am finally coming together. Like things are being removed, taken, reordered and redistributed...and while this process is not without pain, and some attendant suffering, it is ok. Really.


I am not sure when the last time that I went through something like this and felt ok even as things exploded, imploded and fell to pieces. I usually feel like I am the one falling apart, but this time, it feels like I am standing tall in the middle of chaos and for the first time, see it all as evolving energy. The energy of living.

Today, I see the energy flowing out of some places of my life and into others. New life, born out of the old.


I was hiking recently in a beautiful redwood forest, and found a behemoth redwood felled, toppled to the ground some time ago. At first, I thought moss had taken root and proliferated. But in reality, the mighty redwood, though felled, was in fact, quite alive, in fact, in its prone position, sending off hundreds of new shoots of life. It was down but it was definitively not out. Defiantly prone, no longer reaching heavenly, instead, took up its new residence, horizontal and thriving. In fact, its new growth was the most abundant of any redwood present. Dazzling, verdant green scions sprouted from the massive trunk as if it exploded with life all at once.


I was awed and amazed. This gentle giant’s energy of life was not ended, becoming fodder for future decomposition. No, instead, it raised a defiant middle finger and said, “I will fucking thrive right damn here!” And so it did.


This made me think that perhaps all of us do this, or don’t do this. We all are sometimes felled in our lives, our bases uprooted and exposed. What seems like it is our ending, is really just a new beginning that no one else could possibly expect. Perhaps this was this redwood’s swan song, its last hurrah before its final demise. But as I wandered through the ancient wood, I saw no others like it. Not one other fallen tree was thriving as this one was. Perhaps it was a newly acquired prone position, but upon closer examination, it was clear that this massive beauty had taken residence in this position, in that place, for quite some time.


The energy of living persisted. It continued, granted no longer with the vantage and view it once had, now its only view was from the forest floor, vanquished to only stare dumbly at the overstory of which it had once been a part. The canopy a distant past, and its current status, allowed it to get better acquainted the the earthy, moss laden forest floor.


While there were many magnificent trees to behold. I even found one that required a long hug and kiss, but none captured me quite like this one. Its life energy derailed and uprooted, literally. And still it lived on. Finding new life, even as the old one’s shadow lingered, perhaps even taunted.


It occurred to me that perhaps we could all learn from this timber: the energy of living continues regardless of our positioning; in spite of our decisions to the contrary and fly in the face of our decisions we are sure will bring about something else entirely.


Life and living is made up of energy, all of us, a unique collection of particles bouncing around in unison, bumping into each other to form this perfect version of us, me, you.


The energy of living is something that I have glossed over, taken advantage of, forgotten about entirely, and been ridiculously remiss about. But here I am living still, loving it mostly, even when the pain of lying prone staring at the heavens that I used to touch and caress remain completely out of my reach. I, too, can lie on the forest floor and shoot out new life regardless.


So long as the oxygen exchange continues for me, I have a chance to notice, to participate (or not) in the energy of living. I can stare upwards and wonder, in awe, of all that has happened, and all that might come. And in rare moments of repose and silence, I can remain, horizontal, content to sprout new tendrils of myself all over the place, caring not where they land, if they ever land at all. I am burgeoning new life, even as I lie in wait for whatever comes next, be it feast, or famine, or rain, or snow. Or scorching heat, that leaves me parched and dried out. I continue to participate in the energy of living.


And I swear the older I get, the more I feel it. Like the particulate matter inside me is growing denser, perhaps in preparation for a new germination. Perhaps my own final hoorah before my ultimate departure? That is the beauty of life, we never know. Each of us, availed an opportunity to frolic in life’s madness for an hour, a year, a lifetime, none of us knowing when the end shall come to claim us.

For me, the image that keeps coming to me, whenever I close my eyes, is this colossal tree, finding a new way to live when it appeared that life’s sweet energy was being drained away. And I feel that also. While remaining upright and vertical have its advantages, there is much to be learned from lying prone on a forest floor, shooting out into the universe tiny particles of yourself, caring not who wants them, just sending them out regardless of care or concern as to where they alight. Whirling the life energy of our being first round and round within our own bark and then in a magnificent display, rocketing ourselves outwards towards what, who knows, but doing it anyway because we are blessed with the energy of life, for now.




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