bright, hot and sunny afternoon
We all know that life is precious and we should always cherish and be grateful for life, but how much do we actually hold to that statement as we live through every day? Do we not lament more over what we don’t have, rather than be thankful for what we have? Do we not also sometimes forget the value and importance of our lives, and occasionally wish that we were better off dead when we meet a setback or failure?
It is only when we have a close encounter with death or witness how death can ruthlessly snatch life away that we realize how fortunate we are to simply be alive. It is not just us humans; all living beings cherish life and will hang on to life with every ounce of its strength when death beckons at the door. Something as tiny as an ant has a life too, and its strength and undying spirit in fighting to keep itself alive is many, uncountable times larger than its miniature body size.
When I was starting to wash a plate at the kitchen sink earlier, I allowed the rushing water to rinse through the entire plate to wash off any remaining food particle that was on it. Unbeknownst to me, there was an ant scrambling around at the base of the plate and when my eyes caught sight of it, it was flushed forcefully from the surface of the plate. It looks like the angels have come for the life of the ant through a careless action of mine.
My eyes darted everywhere throughout the sink in search of the ant, hoping that perhaps I could prevent the ant from being washed away into the dark abyss of the sink hole, where it most definitely will meet its fatal end. I could not see it anywhere at all, and I thought for sure that it had gone to meet its maker.
Just when all hope seemed lost, I saw a slight movement at the sink hole. Yes, it was the ant.
The ant had half of its body hanging on to the edge of the sink hole while the other half was being flung around behind it as the gushing water rushed furiously passed the frail body of the ant and threatened at every moment to wash the ant away into the abyss beneath. It totally was akin to a man hanging on at the cliff of a water fall as mad water brushed pass him and fall off the edge. The ant was hanging and clinging on to its dear life and it knew clearly well that if it were to loosen it’s grip, it most certainly will lose its life. The ant used every ounce of its strength and every muscle in its body to hold on tight as it battled against the torrential waters that might eventually prove to be the element that ends its life.
I could see that any delay in rescue efforts would guarantee a loss of its life and I hurried to get a piece of kitchen paper while the ant continued its fight for survival. It was not a normal race; it was a race against death.
With that piece of paper, I acted in the hope that I could reverse the mistake I had made and prevent the clutches of death from snatching the ant’s life away.
With fortune’s favour, the ant managed to cling onto the paper as the paper absorbed the surrounding waters and it was caught by the absorbent fabric of the paper. However, it did not move as I lowered the paper onto safe grounds. Perhaps the paper had squashed it, or perhaps the water had drowned him. It appears that it had won the battle against the mad waters, but lost the battle against death. It’s supreme courage and strength to fight for its life looked sadly to be of no match for the overwhelming forces of death.
I sighed and wished that I had been more observant.. for had it not been for my carelessness, the ant most probably would have lived to see many more sunrises.
However, the forces of life seemed to have worked its magic.
The ant started moving after awhile and began scrambling about once again after it had regained its consciousness. What a joyous sight to behold to see a being thought to be dead, revived! I arrived at the conclusion that the ant did not move earlier as it was too drained by the battle against the furious waters that had threatened its life and it needed time to at least catch its breath.
The ant later hurried off to reunite with its friends and it certainly seemed like it would share its near death experience with its friends and realize how fragile and precious life really is.
If an ant is able to know the importance of life, as displayed by the immense strength and determination in fending off the powerful waters to preserve its own life, what more can be said of humans that have a much more superior intellect? We really do not need near death encounters to remind ourselves that we should cherish life and live everyday to the fullest without any regrets. We should always remember that we only have one chance to live this life and we should make the best use of it and appreciate every sunrise and sunset. After all, we really do not know how many sunrises and sunsets we can witness before our time on Earth is up.
“Every man dies, but not every man has lived.”