Wednesday, January 21, 2015

2015. (Girl meets river.)

New Year is here, it's a cold slow start,
dry winds, not enough snow.
Indifferent Winter days, push us indoors,
while bare trees outside stand stiffly and wait.

But Lily keeps the days turning,
She's advancing on me, an affront of opinions
and curious inquiries.
Life talk, body talk, death talk.
Eyes wide open, every dawn, her words spill out
as though they had been locked up since the night before.

How I love my loose toothed whirling dervish.
Keeps me on my toes.
Nearing Six, she's so twelve.

Just recently we passed a cemetery - I explained what it was.
She liked the headstones.
Can we get one of those for Daddy? She asked.
Well, Pumpkin... and then came the explanation I had shared with her in my mind
and over
and over again:

When people get old, (or very, very sick)
sometimes they decide when they die they want to be buried in the ground.
Other people would rather they be made into a special dust that you can scatter
in special places
that that person really loved.
It sounds weird,
but since when bodies are dead they can't feel anything,
so there is no pain,
they use a special fire that burns the bodies into ashes like a special dust.
And they put the dust into a container and then we can sprinkle them
in special places
or ocean,
or softball fields.

Looking out the window,
Where do they get burned?

In special ovens.
But even though the bodies get burned,
they don't feel anything,
because when a person dies, their body can't feel anything.

Have you seen that? Who does it?
No, I haven't seen that, Pumpkin,
Special people do that and then once the ashes/dust are in the container they give them to us.

But how do they get them out of the oven?
Um...  I think they use a special shovel to get them out carefully.

Silence.  Contemplation.  More backseat questions.

There was a Charlie Brown episode about that!  
Like Snoopy or Charlie Brown got dead or something, 
and they burned him into special dust and then they sprinkled it.

It was funny, she said.

With that, she put those big ideas
into an animated, happy, contemplative place in her mind.
And heart.
So proud of her I am.  
The way she takes things in, 
digests them, 
wonders about them,
pursues them boldly and then places them creatively in her thoughts.

We call it "Daddy Dust".

Now she asks others if they know about it.

Just last week she asked to see some.
So with her fingers that are shaped 
she gently put them in the box
her hands.

Weird, she said.

Can I have dessert Mama?


So brave how she goes straight to the water.
Confronts the river.
Dips her toes,