I’ve just finished reading Stephen King’s latest book, Doctor Sleep. Oh, I know, many of you don’t like King’s fiction because much of it is in the horror genre. True, but there is considerably more to his writing than the horror it can evoke. King is a master story teller, a genius at character development and he draws his reader into the story in a way that doesn’t release and often encourages thoughtful reflection.
So it is with Doctor Sleep. I’m not going to cite all the phrases that gave me pause, but I will share one that particularly stopped me in my tracks:
Death was no less a miracle than birth.
This I’m having to think about as my emotions are raw from experiencing the recent death of my brother. We know from the time of conscious awareness that death will find us all, but that doesn’t make it easier to accept the reality. What I’m trying to figure out is where is the miracle. Is it a miracle that death can mean the end of suffering? Is it a miracle that even in death the world around us continues in its usual way? Is it a miracle that we find the strength to move on even when our hearts are breaking? Is it a miracle that such things as life and death are completely beyond our control?
So many questions always surround death, and as I am pondering them this photo of a quite different miracle comes from my barn queen daughter.
What a contrast to death is the emergence of new life, and the associated emotions are total opposites. I’m thinking most of us have experienced the two extremes, and I’m wondering how many view life and death as similar miracles.
Who would have thought all these questions would arise as a result of reading a book by an author many credit only with being scary! Hmmm, I wonder if that means we have to be scared into thinking, but maybe that is fodder for another time.
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P.S. For more about the adorable ducks, look here.