The First of a Billion Steps Toward Eternity and the Enlightenment that Comes from Being Thankful for the Color of Plums

Photograph by Jose Padua
For everyone who has ever contemplated self-destruction,
self-immolation, or such anger
as to perpetuate century upon century
of war and strife,
consider the prospects that arrive
with the changing of seasons.
A stretching of daylight
into what of late had been
under the providence of dusk;
or a mist of sea scent filling one’s breath
the way rest soothes the air
that surrounds a person
running away from whatever can’t run
quite as fast.
And although every day someone dies,
each of us dies on only one day,
which means there will be days
when you come out
smelling like a large room
housing a single tiny rose.
And as the world disappears
beneath the noise of stupid television shows,
electronic conversations conducted by idiots,
and dull information sent
from city to city masquerading
as truth and deep thought,
remember that he who dies
with the most toys
doesn’t win,
but instead becomes another product
that has achieved the long, slow crawl
to its expiration date,
and that eternal happiness,
like the ripening of plums,
is best approached
with small, steady steps.

-Jose Padua

Photograph by Jose Padua


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