Cellar

“Make the most of this one life” they say.
“You only live once”
they parrot, unthinkingly.

Do not despair.
Do not believe this will be only once,
a single time.

You are in a cellar in this life.
The bulbs are few
and forty watts at most.
You move about in semi-dark;
you do your best.

From time to time, perhaps
there is a strobelike flash
that, when you turn, is gone.

Or, if chance (you think it’s only chance) favours you,
a brief but incandescent flare
reveals possibilities, inspires you,
illuminates a path,
and leaves you yearning
for a Light you cannot name.

In dying from this life
you will climb the cellar stair.
Above, the door opens to a bright summer day.
The light you briefly saw below is Love
and it’s brilliant out here on the lawn.
No doubt you’ll squint at first
until you see that there’s a party going on
and it’s for you.

Though the cellar is what you know
for now,
you can choose to bring back the summer light you’ve glimpsed
and shine it in that cellar,
in this earthbound life

Until you climb the stair
again.

Published September 6, 2021

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