It has been a year since Lupine died. I am out of the desert and at the ocean. On this day I travel up the coast with her blanket in the back seat and stop at a tiny farmer’s market and find a man selling flowers and buy white beauties.
The day is stormy and the waves are high and the winds strong. Getting close to the beach is very hard but finally I find three places where I can offer the flowers, her name tag and fur along with a piece of her quilt that I have had in a tiny green box.
The first place is a cliff and the waves hit up against the shore and I fling the flowers out onto the waters and they mix with the foam. As I head back to the car I see a road on the other side of highway one and it leads me up to lovely thick trunked cypress with while lilies growing in the bracken field behind them.
I dig at the root of one tree and carefully place the name tag in the quilt. I have left the fur in a low lying nest in the crotch of a tree that will be there for spring.
This year we have gone in the four directions and each place has given magic to the ceremony of grief and praise. One place where I left her ashes and came the next day I found a great blue heron standing on the stone that I and stepped out on up in the northwest as terns sang softly during that time.
Ashes have been left on a trail where she tripped a deer and sat on it by a small creek. The circle of life and death. At that time the deer sprung up and was free to go but when Lupine fell down that last time she was not free to go back into this life but moved into her own great mystery.
Grief honors love and praises the life that has lived with vulnerability. I remain with Lupine in all my days and feel the lightness of the year floating on the foam in white flowers.
There are always signs at each outing I have taken and this time it is St. Anthony who for me was the patron saint of lost things as a child and I would pray and I would find what I was looking for. One time losing some glasses in the woods as I circle the hill Lupine comes up and puts her foot right on the glasses and another time she stands on an arrowhead and now on my heart.
As I leave the shore and go into the town of Pescadero there is a church for St. Anthony in the center of town and Lupine is found in everything.