It is a universal truth that death is an inevitable part of life. Moreover, each childhood trauma can profoundly impact our perception of life.

My first encounter with death came at a young age, during a vacation in Yosemite National Park. A photo retrieved from my mother’s things after her death included a photo of the time and place where death first visited me. I am the one on the left of my two brothers. I am reminded of the unpredictability of life’s circumstances.

As a free-spirited and independent child, my curiosity led me away from the safety of my family circle. I fell into the river, swept away by the current. As I gasped for air, I opened my eyes underwater. I was approaching a very large tree root growing close to the bank. It became my lifeline and escaped the predator.

However, I did not know the drowning predator would stalk me two more times.

Teach Us To Number Our Days

Moses implores us to “teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom The Psalm reflects the wisdom of recognizing the finite nature of our time on earth. Second, the verse encourages us to embrace a perspective that values each passing moment, realizing that our time is limited and should be treasured.

In contemplating the inevitability of death, we are reminded of the preciousness of life itself. Second, It prompts us to reflect on the choices we make, the relationships we nurture, and the legacy we leave behind by living with intention, purpose, and an appreciation for the beauty and significance of every fleeting moment. Contemplation is a spiritual disciple. Contemplation is wrapped in prayer, solitude, and time spent in nature. It becomes an algorithm that protects our health.

[Death] A Predator

The [death] encounter at such a young age was a trauma I buried deep in my subconscious. Survival is the built-in response to life and death visits. Unfortunately, embracing life fully, and cultivating wisdom and gratitude, comes later in life.

As we navigate our life journey, the awareness of death can guide us. And that shapes our priorities. It compels us to live authentically, with compassion, and in pursuit of what truly matters. Only if you let it.

Finally, many of us have personal encounters with death. The psalmist’s wisdom is a poignant reminder of the profound interplay between life and death. It is wisdom that nourishes our bodies and especially our souls.

AI image created depicting the Taos Gorge where many historically commited suicide
Passing the Taos Gorge on the way to the Burning Bush

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