Beauty of death and decay

Yesterday, I wrote about how a carpet of yellow pine needles helped me understand the idea of the individual within a greater unity.  

I kept wanting to write about the decay aspect of the pine needles. After all, they are coating the ground because they have fallen. Though they were once growing, attached to twig branch and bole, now they lay where they fell. 

I didn’t write about it because it led me to a different concept. We all are familiar with the circle of life, and we know that death and decay are part of it. But I like examples, they make me think of the deeper parts of a general idea. 

I picture the once green needles, each bathing in sunlight, pulling in carbon. Making sugar, they are like straws for the tree to feed on, feed with. And, thankfully, pumping out oxygen. 

Then the end comes. They get spent, they spin to the ground. Laying on the earth, which the tree they fell from sinks deep roots into, drinking hidden water.  

But they are not feeding on the earth anymore. Now they are feeding it. Giving back green. Fading to yellow like a dull sun.  

Eventually, they will decay to a point where they are no longer recognizable as pine needles. They become earth again, feeding the feeder. And even their tree, eventually, will topple to the ground, molder where it fell. 

Decay is intricate, complex, and beautiful. In its way, it is as beautiful as the other parts of the cycle, even growth. Not the beauty of life, but the beauty of death that renews, revives and leads to rebirth.  

4 thoughts on “Beauty of death and decay

  1. Sadly in our culture we often shun decay as we lose focus on the cycles of existence, gripping white-knuckled to the little section we call “life”. Thinking a little deeper can go a long way. So can keeping in mind that we are part of the cycle!

    Liked by 1 person

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