Imagine a vast hall in Anglo-Saxon England, not long after the passing of King Arthur. It is the dead of winter and a fierce snowstorm rages outside, but a great fire fills the space within the hall with warmth and light. Now and then, a sparrow darts in for refuge from the weather. It appears as if from nowhere, flits about joyfully in the light, and then disappears again, and where it comes from and where it goes next in that stormy darkness, we do not know.
Our lives are like that.
Those are the opening words of the introduction to The Upanishads as translated and collected by Eknath Easwaran, a classic of Indian / Hindu spiritually.
From where we came and to where we go afterwards — who knows — but for minuscule amount of time that we’re alive, we are like the sparrow that emerges and follows the light, darts around playfully, and then before long returns to the vast darkness outside, never to be seen again. I like this image.