Woke up to heavy fog this morning. After dropping off my daughter at school, I headed for the Cumberland River, by way of an untaken path. I ended up at a small boat ramp. I photographed ducks and trees, but everything looked unremarkable. The light illusive. Somehow this one image (no embellishments) captured Ash Wednesday best: reflective but not altogether clear. Life is there, yet hidden in winter’s extended stay. The fog like liturgical ashes holds both life and death.
As I backed up to leave the boat ramp, an Army Corp of Engineers sign announced “128 persons have drowned in this lake, 2 wearing a life jacket.” Lord have mercy. Despite the poor grammar and misidentification of a river as a lake, the gravity of the place increased. Ash Wednesday light is sorrowful and heavy with finitude. Yet life flows on . . . in and through the day and this place. And so we wait.