I found a baby bird and he lived for three days. I fed him with a syringe, and when he wasn’t sleeping nested in one of my old scarves, he danced around on my desk. We named him Peep.

Peep died in front of me, about eight o’clock Sunday morning. I was sitting outside on the patio just watching him sleep. Then, suddenly Peep became restless, so I lifted him out of his shoe box and held him in my hands.

I couldn’t take my eyes off of him – I could feel my heart beating, almost like I knew that something significant was about to happen.

In that very moment Peep’s head reared back and his tiny stick legs pushed forward as if he were about to leap from a branch. He spread his wings once and then his body flopped over.

Tears welled up in my eyes – one second he was in life, and in the next second he was gone. I had the intense feeling that he was flying.

I’ve been there myself, at the edge of my life, and I’ve also been with other people at the edge of theirs – some return and some do not. This feeling is hard to explain, but in many ways it’s like stepping backwards toward the edge of a cliff until one step takes you over.

In a moment…half of the life holds back while the other half takes flight.

Since we can’t control natural death, it seems we don’t even think about it. This is a shame – we skim over it and quickly put it out of our minds. But just taking the time to stop and truly consider it, even if it’s once a year, might remind us to appreciate more and argue less.

Really, the only things that matter in a life are people, nature and time.

This is Peep.