I stand in the field of the ancients and read the names on the stones. I stroll along reading births and deaths, remnants of who they were. Their families gathered around them to share the afterlife. I hear the birds overhead and see the squirrels running, playing, working gathering the acorns from the wild oak trees and wonder what will be said of me.
I pay homage to the ancients and leave my floral sacrifice to be ripped and torn, shredded by the wind. I know the sun will bake the cloth and plastic; rain and snow will wilt their perky petals. Still I leave them. It is what those who came before me, the ancients, did for their loved ones. It is what I do.
I wonder if they look down from heaven and criticize my arrangement or chastise me for not visiting more often. I wonder if they hear my words of remembrance or see my tears of grief. I wonder if they are there at all.
I say a prayer to the ancients call upon their wisdom to help me get through my time here. I feel a swelling in my heart and lump in my throat as a cardinal stares at me from the bare branch of a tree. I know the ancients are here. I know they are a part of every breath I draw. They are with me. They are me.