I stood in the field alone, looking out to the western foothills. The sun was starting its descent from day to night, but it wasn’t quite sunset.
It was the magical time just before. The window through which everything is more vibrant in color, more alive, rimmed with gold. My favorite time of the day.
“This is when they should bury me,” I thought.
This is when they should lower my body into the ground, when the sun turns the world golden before its arc into night.
When the leaves on the trees flash a bright spring green. And the cottonwood floating in the air looks electric. When the long grass glows warm, its tips a blur of undulating white.
When everything is just a little too bright, just a little too beautiful, just a little too intense.
Just like me.
I was out in that field looking for God, not for salvation but for some sign that things would be okay after I died. For me and for the people who would miss me so, so much.
Depression is like being dead in a world that is cruelly alive. Cold and hollowed out like a corpse, you try to connect with the living, try to feel the warmth of their hope, but you can’t.
My only tether to this life was my love. For my mom, my brother, my friends. For the dreams of what my life was supposed to be. For my children who had yet to be born.
But the pain was becoming greater than my love, and so I was preparing to die. I didn’t know how exactly. That was for later, after I’d made peace with myself and with God in this field.
After I knew I’d done my very best to live. Because I wanted them to say at my funeral,
“She did her very best to live.”
I noticed sparrows darting back and forth across the field. As the sun began to set, they emerged.
Dozens and dozens of them flew about, only a few inches above the glowing grass, catching bugs in the last light of the day. A few of the braver ones flew close enough that I could hear their chirping and the swish of their wings.
They were exuberant and joyful. And I contemplated why they were not afraid. Their minds could not comprehend that the setting sun would rise again the next day, but they flew like it would.
They had faith that it would.
I wished to have that kind of faith.
I wished to be a sparrow.