As I sat out there, a bee began to buzz around me. I took alarm--a bee sting right now probably would do me in. I'm sensitive to insect bites anyway, and am obviously way out of whack with anything even remotely called "normal" immune responses.
And so I ask, "How shall I now live?" Do I start reacting in fear to every possible harm? I ask, "How can anyone prevent tragedy perfectly?"
Of course, I am deeply wrapped up in what has happened in Japan. From what I can tell, Japan is possibly the best prepared nation on earth when facing natural disasters such as this huge magnitude earthquake. People drilled in disaster response, staying calm, as prepared as possible, buildings are properly built, seawalls maintained. Yet, it growing chaos over there, with probably thousands killed, millions homeless, and a nuclear power plant that has suffered a lot of damage--and may have to be encased in concrete and sealed forever to keep deadly radiation leaks controlled.
I'm back to the uncertainly principle: we simply cannot protect ourselves against all contingencies. We will try, however, because life is valuable and should not be wasted. Life is valuable because God created it, and holds it, and loves it and is Life Eternal. Yet, there is more.
Last Friday night, my husband and I had a powerful and loving conversation about life and death issues. We were both weeping gently, speaking of the fact that we are now really having to face our own mortality much more strongly. Neither of us has any fear of death; we both look forward to the resurrection life and fullness of love in the Holy Presence.
Yet we both know too well of the pain of loss when someone we love leave this physical body behind. It's real and it hurts. And it is a part of every single person's life.
Without that awareness of loss, I doubt that any of us would really know what joy and real life feels like.
So, I came in. The bee is probably still buzzing happily out there. I will, naturally, return to work in my garden as soon as I can, but not at this moment. But I also say, "I will not live in fear." That would be death even as I would be claiming life. And that, I choose not to do.