Upon news of the expected death of our long time neighbour from across the road. She had been ill for some time …
Dear Pete and girls, Very sorry for your loss, but fly Jenny, fly!
I believe you live on in the memory of those who knew you … and more permanently, by entering into new arrangements of life, as the atoms of carbon, etc we all constitute re-assemble in new configurations … ‘I may simply be a single drop of rain, but I will remain, and I’ll be back again, and again and again and again and again …’ Look out for the rainbow.
Every human being on the planet is made out of around 60 chemical elements, basic building blocks assembled in millions of different ways. Most of our body is built out of just five of them – oxygen, carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen and calcium. Others, like phosphorous, potassium, sulphur, sodium and chlorine, occur in very small quantities but are essential for life. Combined with an electrical charge of humanity, acquired intelligence, spirituality, love and respect, we can be people for a while who touch the hearts of others … so fly Jenny, fly!
Everything else in our world (and beyond) is also made up of combinations of elements, such as hydrogen and oxygen bind to form water, sodium and chlorine make salt, and so on.
Those that delve into things like this say, that when the universe began, almost 14 billion years ago, only two of the basic elements existed, hydrogen and helium. There was no oxygen or carbon and therefore no possibility of life anywhere in the cosmos. To explain where the other building blocks of the universe come from they have formulated an answer … they were assembled in the hearts of long-dead stars.
… our ingredients were cooked in the hearts of ancient suns, thrown out into the universe at their deaths and eventually brought back together by the relentless pull of gravity over billions of years to form our solar system, amongst others. The elements we constitute were forged at the moment of these magnificent stellar deaths, new life born from the ashes of old. We are part of a vast cycle of cosmic death and rebirth, and when we die, the elements that make up our bodies will be returned to the universe to begin the cycle again.
What a wonderful thing to be part of this universe, and what a story. What a majestic story … of carbon recycling …
Alan and Ann
HIGHWAYMAN (Words: Jimmy Webb)
I was a highwayman
Along the coach roads I did ride
With sword and pistol by my side
Many a young maid lost her baubles to my trade
Many a soldier shed his lifeblood on my blade
The bastards hung me in the spring
But I am still alive
I was a sailor
I was born upon the tide
And with the sea I did abide
I sailed a schooner round
the Horn to Mexico
I went aloft and furled the mainsail
in a blow
And when the yards broke off
they said that I got killed
But I am living still
I was a dam builder
Across the river deep and wide
Where steel and water did collide
A place called Boulder
on the wild Colorado
I slipped and fell into the wet concrete below
They buried me in that great tomb that knows no sound
But I am still around
I’ll always be around, and around
and around and around and around …
I’ll fly a starship
Across the Universe divide
And when I reach the other side
I’ll find a place to rest my spirit if I can
Perhaps I may become
a highwayman again
Or I may simply be a single drop of rain
But I will remain
And I’ll be back again, and again and
again and again and again …