Kneeling in the compost dirt of my future grave, I watch the decomposers at their work and weep with love and awe and fear. Rodents and birds, beetles and fungi and tiny ants who lift a thousand times their own weight – I watch them carry off bits of decaying vegetable peels and nibble discarded fruit and I weep. It’s just so beautiful, this ancient web of connection and symbiosis. Beautiful and fragile.
I am immensely afraid all the time. Afraid I am living through the last era of life on Earth, that I will witness the extinction of all these strange, lovely little creatures who hold our world together. Afraid things will only get worse from here, year after year until every nightmare scenario becomes reality. Afraid I am ultimately helpless to protect even just the ones I love from this mounting apocalypse, let alone rodents and birds and tiny, intrepid ants.
When I die and they cover me over with the dirt of this planet that birthed and raised me, will the decomposers be here to break my flesh back down to its base components? Will there be fungi left to weave their filaments around my bones and clothe me once more in their fruit? Or will it be too late to nurture my fellow organisms, to finally be part of the giving and not just the taking? Is it too late? Am I too late? Are we?