Tuesday, September 22, 2020

finding your gravestone

I do not need a pandemic to let me know I'm mortal. My too too solid flesh has gone haywire a few times already. Fortunately, I'm held together by socialized healthcare, for which I never cease to be grateful, my lovely roster of doctors, surgical intervention, pharmaceuticals, and valves that look like they belong in a hardware store and give me odd images about the functioning of my body.  

I still might not have thought about my ashes except that R told me a long time ago where he wants his scattered. 

There are several places in the world I've loved enough that I could imagine spending forever there, except that I don't want an handful of me here, a handful of me there. I wanted one spot and I knew it had to be by water.  

Then I realized that my gravestone is already in place--a large, wild boulder of pink granite that I visit almost daily when we're in the Gaspé. At low tide, I can walk right around it. At high tide, waves smash against it. My favourite time is when the sun has warmed it for a few hours and it's still low tide so that I can lean against it. 

I think of it as wild or rogue, because there isn't another granite boulder this large along this stretch of mostly shale and sandstone coastline. It looks as if it was rolled in during a storm on the high seas and wedged in place. Or spit from the Earth 100,000 years ago and left to find a home. 

Here's me a couple of summers ago. Is my horizon crooked? My horizons are usually crooked. You should be used to it by now.  

Farther down the beach is a smaller sandstone boulder we sit against when we make a fire on the beach or head down to the water at sunset and wait to see if the fox will come out as it did once--running along the flat stones at the edge of the water, its tail a long phosphorecent flame in the last rays of light. I like that stone too, but it's not gravestone. 

I find it comforting to know where I will rest. The skies. The clouds. Sunsets. High tide at full moon. And yes, I know that with the first high tide I'll be washed away.  

Not that I'm in any rush to go.