Ashes to the Wind

Yesterday would have been Robert’s 72nd birthday.

A year ago, we spent his birthday hiking the craggy Northern California coast which he loved, watching the waves crash over the rocks, holding each other as if we might never have this experience again.

Yesterday Robert’s family and I retraced those steps. The day was blustery and cold, the ocean silver green under grey skies instead of the sunlit blue it had been a year ago.

I sprinkled some of Robert’s ashes, and the wild wind sucked the ashes into the air in a dancing cloud. I did it over and over, my tears turning to laughter as each time the ashes took flight, like a magic trick, then disappeared into air.

(photo by Mitch Rice, Robert’s son)


  1. paula on January 6, 2009 at 9:37 pm

    Oh Joan, you are so beautiful! God bless you.


  2. Anonymous on December 16, 2008 at 7:09 am

    Wonderful picture. . . sigh.


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