It took three days for
To leave his father in the woods
Where he died.
Three whole days of weeping
Before he could rise and step forth
To carry the fire forward once again.
What is that experience of lingering with the dead?
No tears will revive those who are now gone,
No balm to bathe their bodies,
Refreshing them to life;
We know they are unchanging
And that we must go on.
To linger with the dead too long
Is to become dead ourselves –
To all the Possibility inherent
In the simple ability to draw air
Into our lungs and to breathe,
Aware of the life that surrounds us.
Yet to step away from the dead,
To leave them behind,
Is to tear away from a very part of ourselves,
And the wound that is left
Heals us differently than we were before.
We leave ourselves-in-relationship-with-the dead behind
And start anew on this life
That is yet to be.
It is to return to the moment of birth
In the time of passing
And to recognize the passing
As our own,
As well as that of the dead.
It is to strike out in the darkness
Bearing only the fire we have within us
To light a path
Into the people we are yet to be.
It is to say
And to mean it,
No longer hoping for a return
To what once was.
It is to carry a picture of our former selves within us
And to watch as Time works upon it.
It is to mourn what can no longer be seen or felt
By our eyes and body,
And yet to be grateful for all that went before,
Even though it went too fast.
And when the boy stepped out of the forest
And back onto The Road,
He was ready to lift the weight of the fire
To forge a light in the distance of Time.
Not without fear,
But resolved nevertheless.
And as I, too, step onto The Road
I see the dots of light in the distance
Of the Fire-Bearers before me
And I lift up my own torch and walk on,
Adding my own glow to the horizon.