I recently had a conversation with my brother and sister-and-law about the purpose of human life, and specifically, why we are here. As I've aged, and the demands of my life have become more personal—children to love and care for, a marriage to nurture, a career to embrace, a home to maintain—these big picture questions, have resulted in some very simple answers. And today, I believe that I am basically here to participate in the cycle of life: birth, life, death, birth, life, death... As humans, this cycle is the one thing we have in common with all of creation: the universe, plants and animals. And it's the one thing that explains why we have been created to reproduce, and to keep going, despite the odds.
I think this cycle is what makes me eager to celebrate the seasons, to embrace the bloom of cherry blossoms in the spring and sunflowers in the summer, and to notice the moments when life is at peak. Because when living life is the goal, these milestones help bring me down to earth, and remind me of my simple purpose.
This weekend we took a short drive to Montgomery County Maryland, to see the sunflowers at the McKee-Beshers Wildlife Management Area. McKee-Beshers includes rows upon rows of sunflowers across 30 acres; the fields are maintained by the state and are intended to feed local wildlife. Our goal for the visit was to arrive for sunset, but instead we were met by rain. Despite the weather, Ryan was as eager as I was to see the flowers, so made our way through the puddles and mud, and arrived at the field of towering sunflowers. Even in the rain, they were a sight to behold: tall and glowing.