Patrick placed the sage stick below us and it stood tall on the pavement without our support. Our heads bowed in together. Arms drew one another closer into a bear hug, sealing our circle with nothing but love. Hands clasped. Eyes closed. Smiles across each of our lips. We took turns saying the same thing: I am so grateful to have you in my life.
The smoke rose up to greet us like an old friend. Jackets and hand-knitted scarves wrapped around us. The warmth of friendship — friendship that has aged like a fine red wine — filled the spaces in between our intentions. Our hopes, dreams, and wishes for the New Year. The smoke signified the departing words as they burned below us, merged together in a heap of ash. Once written on a piece of paper, now smoke that hung in the white sage air. The release of our words signified an act of surrender. An act of trusting that whatever happens in our lives will be and the best we can do is show up for it.