The Sacredness in Ash

I was out trying to fix a sprinkler earlier today. (Yes, Mama, I had on my N95 mask.) I was working as fast as I could so I could get back in the house. I noticed that I had ash on my arms and could feel it getting in my eyes. My glasses lenses were scattered with it. I noticed it on everything. I noticed that I couldn’t see behind our property very far today from all the smoke. When I got in the house, I decided to take a shower to get the smoke and ash off of me, and I noticed that the top of my head had quite a bit of ash on it. Seeing that ash on my head, even more than when I was out in the yard, shoved me right into a reality I hadn’t examined thoroughly before.

All I could think about was that people’s lives were raining down and floating all around me… pasts, futures, hopes, dreams, plans, tiny pieces of homes and precious belongings, maybe even pets and other wildlife. And I couldn’t help but think, “Please, no people.” Whatever it used to be, it’s all things that can’t be put back together again. They can be replaced, some of it, but if you’ve ever lost or broke something special, often times it’s just not the same. I hear it said often in times like this, “At least they didn’t lose their lives.” In an obvious sense that is 100% true, but it’s also not true at all – when we work so hard for the things we have, the places we live, the things we cultivate and that are precious to us.

Certainly I think it’s a safe bet that the vast majority of us would not trade our lives for any of those other things, but it doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt or isn’t significant. It may even be life-changing and cause a domino effect of other hardships.

So I said a quick prayer over the ashes on my head, a prayer for what was contained in them – the things that though they showed up as ash are actually the intangibles that keep us all going. I didn’t think to mention any of this until I saw someone posting a little bit ago about how annoyed they were with all the ash on everything. I get it. It’s messy and it’s certainly not good for us to breathe in. Yet, I think it’s sacred. Granted, we’ll have to wash it off of things, and some of it will catch in the wind and be shuffled off to another destination over and over again, but I sure will see it differently forevermore when I watch it floating down, resting on things, or being rinsed away.

Front, side of my house looking into the back.

So my father died, and I was just thinking….

I got something HUGE out of sitting in the silence just now.


I was on my deck listening to the breeze, wind chimes, and my wonderful miniature wind gong.  My father died a couple of days ago.  I was taking a breather from an emotional few weeks and an emotional data dump into another solar system (well, that’s what it felt like) that I just released on Facebook a couple hours earlier.  My dear friend, Moe, sent me a note of encouragement about my Facebook post (data dump) and my previous blog post (“The Dark Soul and Little Spitfire), and I stated something to him about how many of my blog posts have a distinct topic, but are vague or esoteric in nature.  That is by design — no accident, because it is kind of like a song.  You know how a song means different things to different people?  I might hear a song one way, and you hear it differently, or it has a different meaning for me than you.  That is the reason I am vague and casual in my blog posts many times.  I want the topic to be clear, but the parameters to be set by the reader.  This way it can have many meanings, and the meaning/s can even change over time as our thinking and experiences evolve as well.

I think my style is effective for the purposes I mentioned above.  However, here’s the meat.  What I got while sitting in the silence was how extremely ineffective it has been for me in my real, in-living-color life.  I am a natural introvert, and a reluctantly-learned extrovert; so this is a tragic, perfect fit.  There are times in life when diplomacy is most certainly called for, and a lack of it can cause more harm than good.  There are times when tact and/or caution are necessary.  But I see how tip-toeing around myself in order to avoid injury to others down my path of personal healing has only prolonged and deepened the injuries.  I am not saying one should just bulldoze over people and their feelings, but I AM saying that I have forgotten who I am to myself.  I have forgotten to treat myself like the one and only me that I will ever, ever, EVER have.  Why should I not treat myself the way I try to treat others whom I revere, and the way that I advise them to treat themselves?  So rather than opening myself up to personal things, I am… VAGUE.  And if I want to get deep with it, that’s not really an honest way of being.

Now, don’t get me wrong.  I can talk and TALK about all kinds of things.  I have been told more than a few times that I talk too much!  But if you’re one to really pay attention, you would notice that next to none or absolutely ZERO of what I was talking about had anything very personal or vulnerable about me in it.  If you feel this is not true about me, then consider yourself one of the chosen extreme few.  That’s not bragging, by the way, it’s part of today’s epiphany.

I also get that my vague style of communicating personal things is a protection.  I am sure as I am Irish that it is my own training.  All the way to his death, if you didn’t agree with my father, you were going to pay.  So, I mastered “vague.”  Hell, I JUST said to my husband THIS very morning after I posted my data dump, “I will probably never fully trust anyone.” Wow. Way to go…  Team… ➟➟ of ONE!  How convenient for someone who wants to stay stuck in the beige realm.  (Is that taupe or ecru?  No one really knows.)

I will remember to revere 

myself,

and take care of 

my one and
only 

ME! 

Finally, what I got in the silence today is that by being vague about how I feel, or stepping around things, as my cousin and I talked about, rather than going through them, I’m setting myself and others up to be nuked or data dumped on — like today.  I have lots of feelings and words just swarming around dying to get out!  So if I pressure cook them without releasing the valve at the appropriate time, “She’s gonna blow, Captain!”  What I said in my post on Facebook, I meant.  My regret is that I didn’t say it all sooner and handle it under the category of self-care rather than anger and hurt.

An Aside:  I just took a break from writing this blog post to read some of  the comments on Facebook.  After I posted my blast, I purposely ignored it for a while.  I was fully expecting some cricket noises, maybe a few thumbs-up, and possibly some negative returns.  But I am in tears right now instead at the support I have received.  This is what happens when you put yourself on an island in your mind instead of sharing.  You begin to think you are alone in your feelings and experiences.  I am touched by the kind and caring comments, as well as some private messages, text messages, and phone calls I have received in response.  I hate to sound cliché, but my mind is just blown.  It is time for me to do the work of someone who is ready to move forward from where I’ve been stuck.

I am sad.  I am tired.  My head hurts.  I feel a little less angry today, but I see I have a ways to go, and I fully understand it is totally up to me to find my way to peace.  This is a journey I have to take alone.  I don’t mean that in that lonely, sad way — like “I don’t want anyone around” way, or “There is no one to help me” lugubrious way.  It just is what it is!  Some lessons and transformation are truly and simply a journey for one.

So, what am I going to do about this revelation?  What am I going to do next?  I’m going to buy more wind chimes, that’s for sure.  Those things are MAGIC… like Tinkerbell!  For sure I need to be responsible.  What that looks like is no longer allowing people to abuse my time, which includes family gossip and anything or anyone that just doesn’t feel good or right, or anything that puts me in the position of aligning myself with someone that consistently and purposely makes others feel bad.  After that… I need to stay present and conscious, and I’ll just keep breathing (both directions), learning, and sharing.  

Stay with me.  I’m sure my ride is not over.

ღ Love yourself.

Little Spitfire
I would like to go back
and hug her so tight!

Debora Lynn

P.S.  “Follow” my blog if you want to keep up with me (button on the far right side).  Some of my posts are going to change tone.  When it makes sense, you’re going to see more clearly who I’m writing about.