Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas 1.5 - Ashes to Sand and Water

Early on Christmas morning, while it was still dark, I set out for the beach, about a ten-minute drive from where we were staying. The other members of my family have exhausted their resources when it comes to dealing with the ashes, and it probably seems odd that I would have decided that a Christmas sunrise on the beach at St. Augustine was a right time and place, but when I flipped open my phone and saw the reading that came up, I felt vindicated.

As I drove through the dawning light and walked along the beach where we all ran and played and sunned and built sandcastles for so many years, I thought about those words:

Behold, I bring you good news of a great joy which will come to all the people; for to you is born this day in the city of David, a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. ~Luke 2:10-11.

God's son, my son, incarnation, cross, life, death, light overcoming the dark. It seemed to me exactly the right thing to do, to wade into the gentle ocean and scatter ashes as the sun rose.

The next day, I found this poem stashed away in my email, and it seemed appropriate and compelling, given how I had celebrated Christmas:

But the silence in the mind
is when we live best, within

listening distance of the silence
we call God. This is the deep

calling to deep of the psalm-

writer, the bottomless ocean
we launch the armada of

our thoughts on, never arriving.

It is a presence, then,

whose margins are our margins;

that calls us out over our

own fathoms. What to do

but draw a little nearer to

such ubiquity by remaining still?

(from "AD" by R.S. Thomas)

(Cross-posted from Metanoia)


Michelle said...


Magdalene6127 said...

Dear one, with you in prayer and love.