- Meeting point
A robin lands on the dew-wet stone ledge of the basin, it’s foot slightly darked by the soot from last night’s Easter Vigil fire.
The bird looks for its bath but finds ashes instead of water.
It hears people approaching and flies to refuge in a service berry tree where it finds a meal from the insects in the white flowers.
A person enters through the forest into the clearing, carrying a bucket of tools for cleansing the pit.
The routine scraping of the metal shovel on the limestone bowl adds to the chorus of nature as the ashes are cleared away to be spread upon the earth.
Water is then brought in the same bucket by the steward and fills the vessel.
A little while later, a group of people clothed in brightly colored linen enter the space to sit and mingle. Some begin to take a moment of surrender, marveling at the grandeur of creation.
A choir begins a hymn and the crowd quiets. Some words are spoken, and a family joins the priest at center, standing behind the font. A baby is presented and sprinkled with the water. The natural cacophony is heightened through the baby’s cry at the cold water’s touch. The congregation disperses the clearing after much song and exaltation.
In this new quiet, the robin, full from its meal of aphids, descends to its bath, freshly drawn, and begins to preen its feathers.
water, fire, baptism, renewal, cleansing, center, wilderness, meeting point
Sylvia Bowen-Bailey, Shannon Quintana, Kaitlin Burger