Death, Spring, Prayer, and Taxes

BenjaminAs Benjamin Franklin so aptly put it, “In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” On the Brainy Quotes page where his adage appears, another writer (Ruth Ann Minner, former governor of Delaware) suggested that in addition to this, we ought to add “trash.” That makes sense to me. Trash is pretty much a certainty of living life. In an effort to stem the tide of inevitable trash, I am working hard in 2016 to be much more thoughtful about recycling. For one thing, I have started to use cloth bags at the grocery store. (Except four times out of five, I forget to take them into the store with me. Better work on that.)

My question: where on earth do we put all the trash that we generate every day, besides the curb? Maybe someone has started to jettison it into outer space? It is a big universe out there, but is it big enough for all our crap?

Then there are those who say that the only certain thing is uncertainty. Again, I would have to agree. Suddenly, there are quite a few things that are certain: death, taxes, trash, crap, and uncertainty. What else?

I suppose I am certain that the sun will rise each day and certain that my heart will keep beating all through the night even when I am sleeping. A corollary to this certainty is that I will continue to breathe, without ever thinking much about it. Sidebar: When my son was five years old, he went through a phase where he was afraid to go to sleep at night because he was worried he would not keep breathing. I introduced a recitation together of The Lord’s Prayer before bed. I don’t know why, exactly, but this seemed to help him.

close-up of a boy praying

Perhaps we can add a child’s need to pray to the list of things that are certain. How about grown-ups? What do we need when it comes to prayer? I’m certain there are as many different answers to that question as there are people on the planet.

In this time of complete political carnival upheaval, this campaign-season-like-no-campaign-season-we-have-ever-seen-in-the-annals-of-time, is anything certain? Some say they are certain that there is no way Bernie can be the nominee. To that I say, “do not underestimate the power of the people.”

One last certain thing. Spring will always come. It may be slow to get here, especially in Wisconsin. This April has been the shepherd of the weirdest spring ever. One day it is warm, the next day it snows three inches. Then, the sun shines. Then it is extremely cold. But, surely, this can’t go on forever. Right?

Finally today, April 18, 2016, several certainties have coalesced. It is Monday, so it is trash day in Sheboygan. It is also tax day everywhere. The IRS gave us a reprieve, I guess, since the 15th fell on a Friday. Are they that thoughtful, the IRS? Apparently.  It is also so spring-like out there today that I can’t possibly image it snowing again before next December. At least, that is what I will pray for.

As for death, it never goes away, ever. Of that, I am quite certain.



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