When you are little, the changing of seasons is a rather challenging concept to grasp.
It is difficult to make sense of birth, renewal, growth, vitality, the weather and wrinkled decay, collapse and frigid stillness. And then this seasonal process begins all over again with the rain washing away the snow, cleansing and refreshing the frozen earth…What makes this work?
Through time, and education of course, I’ve come to learn that much of this infinite process exists purely due to the permanence of energy—more specifically and scientifically— because of the law of conservation of energy.
In the year 1785, French chemist, Antoine Lavoiser, discovered that matter can neither be created nor destroyed. Eventually, German physician Julius Robert Mayer built upon this finding, realizing in 1842 that energy, in addition to matter, is also neither created nor destroyed.
Matter. Energy. They simply exist just as much, and only ever as much, as they initially did when earth first formed.
So, with every passing season— every winter turned to spring— the same matter, the same energy has been reused and converted to help create the leaves on trees, or the blossoming flowers from a budding stem.
This scientific law solves so much more than the “simple” explanation of energy conversion and regrowth, but spiritually reassures the concept of reincarnation.
During unprecedented, physically, economically, socially and emotionally strenuous and uncertain times such as those universally experienced today, I find that literally complicated— though conceptually straightforward— ideas, such as the law of conservation of energy, are increasingly comforting.
Have you ever lost someone? Something? Anyone, or anything? Did you know before now that they scientifically continue to, and forever will, exist?
On this, the two year anniversary of my grandfather’s death, the start of the fall when our world breaks down once more into crumbling pieces of matter on the earth’s surface, and in the middle, (beginning, end?) of a pandemic virus— which has led to countless tragedies, felt by most in some shape or form— I am reminded of how frighteningly beautiful and circular nature is.
To the naked eye, the living world was designed to wear away: to die. We, as human beings, search for reasons to make sense of death. Where do we go? I’m still not completely sure, but I do know that much of the answer lies right beneath us in the grass that cushions our feet, and under the light of a microscope.
We are all connected— we recycle one another’s energy. New life is formed from that of the old— from that which we once loved in physical form. We continue to carry the energy of the deceased through every action, day in, day out. In a sense, their death ensures that our lives are sustained with what precious matter and energy this world has.
Every inanimate or living thing and process in this world was purpose built. Nature is birth. Nature is death. Nature is recycling. Nature is restorative.
You do not have to believe this—you do not have to agree with me. But please, when the world feeds us heartache, and pain, and strife, and confusion, and sickness, please find something to believe in. Something that heals.