“Pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death / Pray for us now and at the hour of our death” - T. S. Eliot
My teeth ache as though I were biting ice-cream. The chill wind blows through my lips and circles around my incisors—it dries my eyes and freezes the condensation on my upper lip. I look down and continue to make my way along the English roadside. I notice the puddles from yesterday’s rain. No longer wet and young, they are frozen with age. Deliberately, I let my foot fall on one and relish the satisfying sound of puncturing the world’s surface. Creation, I realise, is brittle.
Remember that you are dust
I lie still, listening to the clicks and hums as I am slowly drawn up into the tube. The song of moving parts and hidden magnets plays up and down my brain and spine. I rest here in my little mound of dust.
And to dust you will return
I lean forward, keeping as still as I can. The needle goes near the spinal cord. From deep within, she drains my nervous essence into tubes and flasks for examination. Somehow, this blessed cocoon of dust holds together.
Turn away from sin and be faithful to Christ
When we first arrived here, I saw the moon cover the face of the sun. It was vision of the end. The skies will darken and the ocean will recede. When the last stars fall we will see that all the lights of heaven were but the embers of a fire disturbed.
We are what you say we are, O Lord. Do not be silent.
On that day we will warm ourselves in the Lamb’s light, as the sun warms the soil. The seeds of faith will germinate, and the tree of life will stand tall amidst our beloved dirt.