Ash Wednesday Reflections
Come, bow down, and take the ash
The sign of the cross on the head
A mark on the brow, just like a gash
In penitence, in sorrow, like one dead
It is Ash Wednesday, and whenever I think of ashes, I think of a funeral pyre, of the great burning into ashes of those dead, whom we have loved. And all that remains is ashes.
On the rocky headland, the gulls swooped across the blue sea, and a wind was rising. I stood there, gazing at the distant horizon, gazing down from my craggy perch to the tide, breaking on rocks far below.
There were three of us here, and we came in sorrow, not with a mark on our heads, but with a gash within our hearts. This was her favourite place, to come and sit, and meditate upon the restless sea; she would watch intently, as far off, we saw the flashing of a distant light at night, a warning to the mariner.
And in daylight, yachts sailed smoothly around the headland, white sails billowing in the breeze; weaving along with the currents, navigating around the treacherous rocks beneath the surface.
The sky was turning deep purple, and the day was drawing to a close, and the rising wind caught my scarf around my neck, and the ends flapped up towards the east; the sun was slowly setting behind the trees.
And we open the jar, and each take a handful of ashes, and throw them high, so that they are blown by the wind, across the rocks, over the sea, towards the setting sun.
This was our farewell, the sign of the cross we bore, and our letting go.
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