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In mottled shades of brown and gray
The winter wind whips across the land
Carrying high aloft the reality of it all
Summed up in one fearful word:
It is where all journeys must end, you see.
For we are of mortal material,
Confined by this flesh and blood existence
Inhaling oxygen from the air around us
Until we breathe no more.
We journey to the tombstone laden knoll
Where father and grandmother
And their parents before
Lay beneath memorials to their journey.
Date of birth.
Date of Death.
Only a dash for the life lived between.
“Remember that you are dust,
And to dust you shall return.”
So we, the people of the dash,
Living in the between time,
Aware of the story’s ending,
Listen for a whisper
A call
A sound which will find us
In the silence of the deathwatch
And speak a single word to us:

In the numbing cold stillness
And the silence of death
A song fills the air.
Like the chirping of the first robin of Spring
It slices through the gray
And fills the air with the only retort,
The only response to this mortal station.
Winter will not last forever.
The sun shall rise
And shine more brightly than before.
A sound slicing through the silence,
A new beginning. A word.
Bringing light into what was dark.
A shoot shall grow from the stump of Jesse,
At least that’s how the saying goes,
And from this shoot shall come
Something bold
Something new.
A Word.
But even more.
The Word.
Made flesh.
You know… mortal.
Just like you. Just like me.
A person of the dash
Born to die.
But here is where the story changes.
For this one, too, shall taste of death
And find a place among the tombs
Caught in the cold, unyielding clutches
Of the grave.
But like the song of the spring bird
Or the emergence of the crocus
From the cold, dark soil
This one shall break forth
From the grave
And like the sun
(Or as the Son)
Shall rise to show forth a new day.
For death could not hold him.
In vibrant hues and vivid shades
All earth is triumphant
In victorious life
Given by the one who defeated death.
Victory for you
For me.

And for all who lived the dashes
Whom God claims anew
In the joyful promise of Easter.
“O death, where is thy sting?”
When God chooses to intercede
With an empty tomb
A resurrection
And a promise of life
Death cannot win.
God has made it so.