“Burn it when he’s gone”, she said as she passed the light green bundle of leaves and twigs to her, “it will clear the negativity” pausing only to bring the bundle to her nose just briefly, then almost to herself alone, “We picked this in Montana, it’s Montana Sage”.
This is the kind of thing that had anyone else told her she would have smiled,rolled her eyes and never done it. This friend was different, though, this was the friend she never should have made, the friend she no longer would know what do without knowing she existed in the world.
The sage sat in her truck for days. She picked it up at stoplights and smelled it, thinking about Montana and remembering that night with her friend. She didn’t want to bring it inside the house, didn’t want to explain it to anyone, or think about all it represented every time she passed it on the desk or kitchen table.
When she was ready, or thought she was, she carried it inside the house, not brave enough to carry it upstairs, she sat on the living room floor in her quiet, quiet house, with just the dogs as witnesses and lit the little bundle of sage.
She cried, the dogs watched, the sage burned.
At some point she lit the other end, for the friend that gave it to her, and the weight of the loss, this seemed right.