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Scattered water

One of our recent burials at the Foxfield Preserve took place on a particularly lovely day – an especially spring-like mid-February day with a bright blue sky and balmy temperatures. As I prepared the site in the early morning hours I was treated to an eastern bluebird singing and enjoyed the flash of a mockingbird flitting along the edge of the wood.

Standing on the hillside looking out over the Sugarcreek valley as the stark stalks of last year’s prairie grasses waved gently in the breeze, the family gathered to say their goodbyes. With such a beautiful setting for a farewell, the passage they read seemed particularly apropos:


Water isn’t created by being ladled into a bucket.
Simply put, the water of the whole Universe
has been ladled into a bucket.

The water does not disappear
because it has been scattered over the ground.

It is only that the water of the whole Universe
has been emptied into the whole Universe.

Life is not born because a person is born.
The life of the whole Universe has been ladled
into the concrete being called “I.”

Life does not disappear because a person dies.
Simply, the life of the whole Universe has been poured
out of this concrete “I” back into the Universe

– Kosho Uchiyama, 1912 – 1998


With such a lovely message, so meaningful in regards to their choice of a natural burial, this service left me filled with warmth.