The Impermanence of Life: The Inevitability of Death

This post is brought to you by nostalgia, family, and Creston, BC. This video was shared with my by a dear friend, and brought tears to my eyes. It’s the home I grew up in. You may not know this about me, but I grew up in the mountains. I grew up in a tiny valley in the interior of British Columbia. Far away from so many things. I lived in this same house my whole life…until I didn’t.

I lived in this same house my whole life…until I didn’t.

I remember when my Mum had to sell this very same house. The house I grew in. The house I was loved in. The house where my brother beat me senselessly with “love” and taught me how to be tough. The corral that I got bucked off horses in. The shop that I needed yearly tetanus’ shots from, because I was a kid around a lot of metal and steel.

It was incredibly difficult to watch all that metal and steel (among other things) be auctioned off as my Dad slipped deeper into dementia… I remember watching the truck we took family trips in being driven off by a stranger, and listening to it fade into the distance… How could he just drive off in it? That was our truck….the one where our sweaty legs stuck to one another in the summer, and my brother would rip them apart to mess with me… That was our truck….until it wasn’t.

That was our truck….until it wasn’t.

I will always remember the same sound of that truck barreling down the road towards our house as my Dad returned home after being on pipeline for months – goodies for us kids, filling his suitcase. Each one a reminder that he had missed us, and was thinking about us while away.  Or when he’d return from hunting with a moose on the back of his truck.  I’ll remember all the times I saw his welding hat pass across the the bottom of our picture window as he came in from outside, the feeling of his icy hands as he tried to warm them on our necks, and I’ll remember hearing the gentle greetings of our horses as he walked down to the corral.

I remember house parties that I wasn’t supposed to have, target practice in the field with bales of hay, and king of the castle on even higher stacks of hay. I remember laying in my bed during the summer and hearing my dad make rounds as he cut hay, and seeing the lights trail across my wall as he passed each successive time, gently lulling me to sleep.

I remember looking off the back deck (picture above) and just feeling at peace.  I remember how quiet it was a night, and how bright the stars shone.  I remember hearing coyotes howl, and owls hoot.

I remember talking on the phone with a friend on that same back deck.  Laying and staring at the stars, hearing about his travels, and having hours and hours of conversation while being mesmerized by their brightness and his voice.  A friend that would one day become my husband, and the father of my children.

I remember the feeling every time I would drive back home. You wind down the highest highway in Canada, your anticipation grows, and you know you’re getting close.  Mountains on one side, creeks on the other, and every time you come around a corner, you know you are closer….until you’re there….

…and every time you come around a corner, you know you are closer….until you’re there….

And the whole valley opens before you.  It’s majesty unbelievable….and you know….you are home. Every time I descend into that valley, I am home (video below).

I was forged by this place: the mountains, the lakes, the rivers, and the creeks.  The home I spent every year of my growing years in is imprinted into my DNA. The smell of the pine and the view of those mountains is etched upon my soul. No matter what happens.  No matter how sad life can be, and the grief that comes with loss…those mountains will still be there.  They will stand strong and stoic throughout time no matter how strong the wind blows, or how hard the rain falls.

If I remember that much like the mountains, our souls were born from the strength of our ancestors.

There is beauty in grief and sorrow. I have so many memories…and I tuck them away safely. I will remember that much like the mountains, our souls were born from the strength of our ancestors. Like anything else, grief can be a resistance that builds the strength to carry on and move forward with greater understanding and purpose. I will be like those mountains, and I will hold my head high.  I will take comfort in that we have survived for millenia and embrace the understanding that there is a season for everything, even me.

And everything that has a beginning, has an end.