FIRE CIRCLE (Liturgy) AT THE LIGHTHOUSE, Part Four
Kevin picks up his grandfather’s medicine bag from the blanket, pulls out grandfather’s ring, and rubs it between his fingers.
“Am I thinking about the fight I had with my wife?” he asks. “Who am I thinking about?”
“Grandfather,” says the blue-eyed woman from England.
“Yis, not the trivial argument with my wife.”
“This lighthouse is a special place. We all need a special place to go to where we can sort ourselves out. Do you have a special place?” He pauses but does not expect an answer.
Going clockwise (the direction of the sun) Kevin hands out sage leaves, first to the man with the red-and-blue-collared dogs, then to Lew.
When he comes to me I say, “We’re together, we can share.”
“I don’t want you to have to share.” He holds the leaves out to me, so I open my palm.
Then he reaches behind him to the red blanket, and deft as a magician hands me the sea shell bearing the smudged sage.
“How did you know I wanted it?” I gasp. Only as I hear myself sputter these words does the wish take shape in my mind: I want to hold the shell, I yearn to be pure and to feel protected from evil, I wish to smell the smudged sage leaves close up.
“I didn’t, but the Creator did.”
I cup it in my hands as though it were fragile as a robin’s egg. The sage leaves smell like Thanksgiving dinner.
After distributing sage to all, Kevin says, “Thank you.” One by one we shake his hand. I am last.
He once more reaches down to the red blanket and this time hands me the ceremonial feather.
“Here, to go with the other,” he says.