This morning I killed an ant. Squashed it with my shoe and broke it in two. It was a "biting ant" and it was coming close to my daughter's bare foot, so I killed it without thinking twice. It was a split second reaction.
Seeing the ant's dead body, both pieces of it, reminded me of the fragility of life. At any moment, life can be taken away from us by forces outside of our control. In fact, it inevitably WILL be taken away from each one of us, at some moment in the future.
I'm not going to say that we should "live each day like it's our last", as if there is some sort of impending doom just around the corner. Yet I find an immense sense of liberation in knowing that one day, just like the ant, my time will come.
Did the ant achieve it's purpose in life? Yes, I believe it did. It lived while it was alive, and that's all that each of us is tasked with in life. Our purpose is simply to live, to participate in the dance of earthly existence. No more and no less.
In each moment we have the opportunity to SHOW UP and dance with all that is going on around us. To surrender to what is, in the present moment, and engage with it fully. For in the end, when our final moment comes, surrendering is the only option we have. And with that surrender, chosen or otherwise, we are liberated from all of our suffering.
I am grateful to the ant for such a valuable reminder this morning.