Sum quod eris.
(Tombstone inscription)

pron = soom kwod EH-ris.

I am what you will be.

Comment: After the last 24 hours with what would have become
full-blown pneumonia I could only laugh when I read this next little
"poverb". I've felt like the only thing left was to die!

Besides the stark reality that such a tombstone issues to a passerby,
it also acknowledges the never ending cycle of things. Thich Nhat
Hanh, Buddhist teacher and wise man whose work I have followed for
years, often recalls this cycle in the beautiful rose. He says, when
you look deeply into the rose, you see the sun and the rain and the
earthworm and the refuse from the kitchen which the earthworm turned
into compost that fed the rosebush that produced the rose. And, if
you keep looking, you will see that this beautiful rose will, itself,
turn brown and die and be placed on the compost heap itself. And the
cycle continues. This beautiful rose becomes compost that nourishes
the squash plant that produces the squash that ends up on my table
feeding me.

We are part of the cycle. I was part of a discussion recently in
which some authentically spiritual people were discussing the
slaughter of animals for our food. We ended up in the same cycle
discussion as Thich Nhat Hanh, only one member of the group added
humans to it. Some day, each of us will pass, and our bodies will add
nourishment to the soil, for the roots of the trees that take
nourishment and continue to sustain life on this planet with oxygen.
We don't talk this way, much, in our culture. We are too squeamish,
but there is something, to me, very solid and reassuring knowing that
all creatures, including me, participate in the cycle of

I have enjoyed the gifts of this life immensely in my life, and
pneumonia not withstanding, hope to for a long time. One day I will
be what others before me have become. I will give back to the cycle
of life.

Bob Patrick
(Used with permission)
Latin Proverb of the Day Archive