As an agnostic I don’t believe in heaven or hell or any kind of after life. What I do believe in is the beauty and wonder of a simple life lived in the woods surrounded by wild critters. I spent the late afternoon and evening surrounded by such critters. 2 pair of Canada Geese and their 12 young geese as well as the pair that have been hanging around my cabin this spring, Henry and June I call them. After I filmed this and did a few chores I sat on the deck with a blackberry beer and watched them while the cat made himself at home in my lap and demanded attention. Talula sat in the chair next to me. In the background was a mix of John Denver, James Taylor, Bob Marley, Cat Stevens and a few others which blended into the changing soundtrack of birds, frogs and cicadas. Eventually Petunia showed up (without her baby who is nearby) and I fed her some corn. Of course, upon seeing the handout all 18 geese came over and were eating just eight feet from Petunia and I.
Really, if this is not heaven on earth I don’t know what would be. I don’t need an afterlife. I’m content with this one. I’ve lived a good life, simple and pretty poor in terms of money in the context of the U.S., but I want nothing more. To be surrounded by such beauty, to be able to cook good food I helped grow in my cast iron skillet, this is living the good life. This is my heaven, right here and right now.