Tuesday, January 18, 2011

What I'll Miss in Heaven

You may think me daft, but a day doesn't pass that I don't wonder what I'll miss in Heaven.

I pass the trees in my yard, studying their form, touching, wondering if Heaven has trees - if you can pluck the leaves, and crush them in your hand, telling whether it's spring, summer or fall in how they feel, smell, and sound. I love nature. Whether it's algae in a creek or the waddles of a chicken, the taste of a July tomato or the whiff of a January cedar woodfire, I pray these brilliant traits of Mother Earth accompany me when I'm gone.

I worry that we die and become images caught in an environment where we can see but not touch. Ghosts. Maybe like Nicholas Cage in City of Angels, we can hang around live people, watching but not participating. Remember how he experienced his first taste of a pear? Diving in the ocean? I fear I'll lose these astounding experiences.

So I try to capture the little tangibles of this life in what I write. If I capture it on paper, maybe it'll live longer?
I don't know.

"Hey, what's with Hope?" you ask. Nothing really. Life is good. I can't complain at all. It's just we have this fantastic gift of so many people, places and things around us. The least we can do is do them justice when we write.

Ever pick up an old diary or letter? Ever read something someone wrote from his heart, head, or gut decades or scores of years ago? You know how time seems to stand still for a moment as you put yourself in the author's place or dare to peek into his private life, as if you were the only one invited?

I might not be able to take trees to Heaven, but I can recreate my life's surroundings as honorably and beautifully as is in my power. I want readers to feel my fingers chip away at bark and know whether it's an oak, a pine or a crape myrtle tree. And in my own effort at creating these sensations for readers, hopefully I'll engrave them deeply enough in my own mind to take them to Heaven with me.


Chryselle said...

It's so eerie, Hope! I've spent the last few nights thinking about what I'm going to miss as well.

I think my musings came from missing the little things while my days get taken over by the demands of parenting, writing, and life's little chores. I thought about what I spend my day doing, what I'll miss if I die and what I won't. That last bit is very interesting - it helps you get your priorities in order.

I want to enjoy my writing and look back at my work with pleasure on my death-bed (or when I'm hovering around with Nicholas). Easier said than done, of course (the writing, not the hovering).

Thanks for the post.


Linda O'Connell said...

This post touched me deeply. I know exactly what you mean. I can identify with everything you wrote, except it's not the chickens that waddle around here. See you at the MWG conference.

BECKY said...

So beautiful and thought provoking, Hope! If your readers hadn't already known to truly enjoy their lives here on earth...they surely will after reading this.

Susan said...

Hello Hope...I belive that everything, EVERYTHING, that you love on earth will be there in Heaven. You will be so supremely happy that you will never even give life on the ol' planet earth a second's glance.

If you think THIS life is amazing, just wait til you get to Paradise. You will be blown away with delight. That's what I think! Susan

Alana said...

To a great extent, I can relate to what you're saying, Hope. Even with my beliefs, I have moments where I think I'll miss the night sky, or autumn and springtime trees, a new blanket of snow, or a foamy sea. But because of what I believe I have hope that things will be even better after this world is over.

The Bible teaches that when Jesus comes back for all those who have believed, this world will be a desolate place for a millennium while the believers are in heaven. There will be trees there. But the one I'm most fascinated with is the tree of life. It's a humongous tree that spans from one bank to the other of a river that runs through it. And it grows twelve different fruits--one each month! Anyway, after that thousand years in heaven, the believers come back to earth where all will be made new again.

Anonymous said...

Wow...this is the best thing you've ever written. It is in itself a "glimpse of heaven."

Jennifer/Pen and Prosper

Unknown said...


First of all, let me say that I love your blog!!

This post was really heartfelt, because I find myself at several moments reflecting on things I would miss. I even find myself getting nervous, because there are several aspects of this life that I desire to take with me.

And that desire that you have, to connect your readers to the things that you so dearly love if the essence of what makes a good writer. So maybe decades or scores of years from now, readers will get a sense of those things you found heavenly, here on Earth.

Hope Clark said...

Awww, thanks!

ferida said...

Thank you, hope, for writing what is dear to my heart - nature. I don't know what Heaven has in store but I do know how incredible the experience of this life can be. I started a nature blog because I needed to share what I am seeing and how it makes me feel (usually grateful). So again, thanks. Oh, and I appreciate your other posts, too.
Ferida Wolff