What is the essence of a life?
A deep thought indeed, but putting aside the belief in the existence of a supreme being for a moment, what is the first notion that question conjures for you?
Is it the wail of a newborn when she is pushed from the womb, wet and shivering, into a cold world of bright light and jarring noise?
Is it a living being’s will and drive to survive?
Is it what we cling to as we grow old, try to recapture, strive to enjoy in every waking moment, as the end draws ever nearer?
Could it simply be the state of being, dreaming, pondering and loving?
Or hating and enduring what the universe has given you?
Maybe, life is the constant of the everyday: the laughter of a stranger on a crowded subway, the silly song that got stuck in your head and you sang in the shower this morning, a face that suddenly smiles in your direction, a warm hug, a lover’s kiss, or a soft place to fall after a long day.
Perhaps it is the enduring memory of a giant harvest moon, the languid ripple of a pond you sat beside last summer, the smell of warm cinnamon in an apple pie, the taste of licorice, or the sweet sip of ice-cold raspberry koolaid you loved as a child.
Life is all of this and much more. It is joy and disappointment, connection and camaraderie, isolation and despair, exquisite pleasure, and acute suffering.
Life is the endurance of the human experience and the divining of purpose. Life is the continuity of unconditional love.