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I walk on the street, breathing in the air, the world changing around me. I am older than I was, I change with every step I take, every breath that I breathe. Now I am sitting on a bench, waiting, waiting. For what, I don’t know. I walk through year in my life, seeing the memories I have experienced. My brother and my sisters, my father and mother, eating at the table and laughing together. I grow up, sitting in a seat listening to a teacher in the front. I am in college now. Then it changes, and I am moving. I work in construction, designing buildings for clients. I have a wife and a little girl. They are my life and my joy. I grow again, my daughter is gone, left the house for her own life and I am old, oh so old. I see my wrinkles and think how did I become this? Then I am in a hospital and it all fades away.

               I open my eyes, the world looking so big to me. A warm body is next to me and I look up at her. So many smells, so many sensations. This is my mother and she licks me and I can sense her happiness. I grow, my legs getting bigger, my body leaner. My mother is gone, I having left her by the owners to another place. These are my owners now and they love me all the same. I eat my food and I sleep with a warm feeling. I am older, the owners older as well. They haven’t changed much but I feel I have changed much more. I grow and grow but my life is the same. I eat, I sleep, I use the box they set in the basement. The little owner always picks me up and hugs me and it is sometimes uncomfortable. I lie in my bed for the last time and I rest.

               I wake up again, but things are different. I am high, so high. I am squeaking and am puffy. It changes and I am bigger, soaring above the white horizon. My eyes peer at the world and my wings take me everywhere. I catch whatever draws my gaze. I am the king, the ruler of the skies. I grow bigger and bigger with each passing day. My children are smaller but just as powerful. I hunt and glide with pleasure in my body. The weather gets cold and a storm hits and I am not the king. I am nothing but a toy for the true king of nature as he tosses me around and sends me to the ground and I fade.

               Everything has changed now for I am eternal. I grow and grow, but very slowly. Time is meaningless, it all dies and fades away, crumbling into ash while I watch. I stretch out, my hair showering the ground with locks and strands. I have limbs that are stronger than ever and I am taller than I have ever been, but still I grow. Things build around me, houses and fences, but they aren’t forever and I am. I grow older and stronger than I have ever before and yet I am not weak, I am strong. I watch the world go by without a care for it is nothing in the great river of life. In every storm I survive for I am strong and powerful. I shiver in the cold where my hair falls out, I grow more powerful again where nature seems to smile and the land is green. And I still grow taller and taller, greater and greater, until I finally stop and stand tall over the world. And a fire comes and I burn until I am smoke on the wind.

               So small now, so much smaller. I am tiny to the world I once towered above. I scurry with my sisters, working hard, digging and collecting. I scavenge around the floor, finding scraps of leaves and nuts and anything that could be used for food. There are so many of us, working together as one mind. I continue this work on and on forever and ever. I scurry along the floor with leaves all around me when a shadow falls and my body is pressed flat. I am stuck, my body pressed down. Then I rise up only to fall down, over and over again and again. I finally get free and run off but now am lost away from that one mind. I don’t have a purpose to lead me and when the sun comes another shadow comes as well and I feel myself burning again as if I am in the sun itself and I am gone.

               Born into the world enclosed, shaped inside and broken free from my jail cell and I grow again. I am different, feel different this time. Something has changed, something different. I have pads and a bill and I swim through the waters and streams. I change, my tail is flat and slaps the water and I wander, not doing anything for this life. I meet a male side of myself and I give birth to new eggs. I feel pride in that as I see my children squirming on the ground, crying out for food. I am different than I was before, but I still age and fade in the end.

               I am born in a world of weird sensations, my body not on the ground but not falling either. I travel with the flow of my surroundings, my brothers and sisters and fellow creatures traveling down always. I grow and grow, breathing in the world around me, somehow surviving. The path is strange as land are the walls to the road and there is one road to travel. Our numbers dwindle and the threats grow until we reach the end. An endless expanse greets me and I search it. I eat and sleep and eat and sleep and when the time is right, I return to that path. Now the journey is harder than before as the world pushes me away from this path. But I am compelled to keep going and I go forwards, moving little by little, bit by bit. A huge wall of flowing white is before me now and I must jump over it. I don’t know if I can, but I must or I know I will die. I jump and I make it. Another wall greets me and I jump that to. And then when I swim in an area where the land is closer, something comes forward, a shadow that blocks the sun, and I feel pain and disappear.

               I grow again, pushing upwards, my top reaching to the light. I break free, dust and dirt falling off and the light shines down and I grow. I release my beauty to the world and I feel the warm air around me. I take in the energy and breathe out. The weather grows hotter and I feel the energy from the sun more and more. Then the cold comes and I chill and leaves fall around me, dappling the earth. The cold really comes then, too strong for me and I wither away.

               Born again, and I am huge. Much bigger than I have ever been before, I travel deeper and deeper before rising up again. I breathe differently, through my back. My teeth are weak, but still I swallow so much. Nothing can defeat me. Predators circle, but I knock them away with my mighty tale. I sing beautiful songs and go down so deep that it is as dark as night. I travel far, from icy cold places to warm waters with plants growing beneath the waves. I see towers of seaweed and mountains of coral, and I travel. And I am at peace in the end, knowing what is next.

               I am small again, but sharp. I have wings in this life and fly through the air. I am a member of something big, a group that works together. We protect one another and feed one another. I see flowers clearly and fly into them, seeing food. I collect it all and bring it back to our home. Collecting and collecting for many times over. This is my life now, over and over I do this. This is the most peaceful of all my lives and I enjoy the peace and when I die, I die in peace.

               Again and again I am born and die as thousands of different forms with fins, scales, feathers, tails, claws, toes, thumbs, whiskers, snouts, horns, beaks. I do this until it repeats again and I am reborn as what I began with at the very beginning and the process starts over. My memories change but my knowledge stays and I become smarter and wiser with each passing lifetime.

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