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If you know me, you’ve come to understand that much of what I believe to be true I learned early, nurtured by love, and surrounded by nature. I rarely read anything without finding another perspective, one in which the lesson is made clearer, sweeter, with a foundation as dear as old roots and ancient stars.

Yesterday, I read something about grief and immediately determined another point of reference (simply of love).

Some of my favorite childhood memories are of camping. Earlier this week, mama and I talked about some of those times, those which are as near today as they were then (close your eyes, brother).

One such endearment lies within the process my mom and dad had for getting us to bed at night. Mom would take us to the bath house earlier in the evening (before dark), and we would return to sit around the fire after supper. As it got later, at some point, daddy would fill a dishpan with warm water and would, one by one, wash our feet and carry us to the tent. What a wonderful memory!

Truly, in retrospect, I’ve come to understand that this was likely an effort to protect the tent from dirty feet…………yet, still……..

The thing I read about grief compared death to the extinguishing a lamp before going to bed. But my immediate point of reference was to nights around the fire. If you’ve been camping, you know that people tend to retire slowly rather than all at once. I recall lying in the tent, listening to conversations taking place around the fire, mesmerized by shadows dancing on the canvas.

What a lovely thought, to think of those who’ve gone on, knowing they are as close as the next room, just beyond the canvas. While we linger around the fire, tending to life, they have retired to dream……….where they wait for us………….

For another dawn, with air so clean it surely is the breath of God, and of bacon frying over an open fire!

. . .

beyond the will
where living still
a fire burns
the brighter

. . .