An Ode to the Ashes


“The spreading of ashes – the final return”

On this day, the mountains, lakes, and streams are my Universe. On this day, the sounds of the wind, rain, and even the clouds are my calling prayers in meditation. On this day, the rays of the sun glistening through the aspen are the warming presence in the lofty shadows that follow. And on this day, the prism of the double rainbow streaming across the distant valley is the omnipresence of Spirit in all things.

The beaver dams the creek, the elk lies in the pasture, the ptarmigan hides in the brush, the coyote carries a hare across the trodden path, and the moose lumbers amongst the pine.  

All this–the raw nature of original grace.

The breath precipitates in the cold air, the leaves crunch underfoot, and the pond teeters on the edge of frozen or slush.  

All this–no words, no acquisition, no quelled emotion–just a pilgrimage of sentience and soulful presence.

How do we cling to anything other than to be in the sanctimonious sensation that arises from “All This”?  That ash is ash and dust is dust – to all of nature it belongs and to all of nature it returns.

From the love beyond the love that is even beyond the bounds of that love – the beatitude of returning another’s form back to its mother – Earth.  

Alas, no matter the circumstance, no matter the understanding, no matter the existentialism of time and place, or the whimsical holding of wishes gone by – May the acquiescence of the return home continue the pure presence of restoration to the gift of life that was once and will be again. 

Therein lies the peace. Therein lies the purity of all. Therein lies the journey of every sentient being in all ways and all graces. The purpose of everything – translucent, everpresent, and undying love – even in the ash and dust – the omnipotence of return to the universal loving presence of heaven and earth – the all-embracing, ethereal, eternal, infinite, transcendent, existence of love.  

That is my ode to this full circle journey on the 2nd anniversary of wholeness. Amen.


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