“Take some ashes,” he said, lifting the velvet bag to me.
My hand, suspended in air.
My eyes, looking away.
Past his face, past his being, in the roar of the sea.
“Take some ashes,” he said again.
This is your friend. These are her ashes.
Don”t be afraid.”
I reached into the grey dust,
Touching her. Touching what was left of her.
I held the ashes.
The waves, oblivious to us, roared, and continued to roar.
They would not be stilled.
But we came for silence.
We came for ceremony.
We came to yield her ashes to the sea,
To a silent sea.
Aware of the ashes in my palm.
Aware of the growing warmth of the ashes
In my palm.
Warmer and warmer until I felt the heat of Communion.
Opening my hand, I blew the ashes toward the sea.
“Don”t be afraid,” I said.
And the sea, claiming her, rose like a temple before me.