Tonight was the last event in a series of events for El Dia de Los Muertos. Big sister was devastated that we left the disappointing sacred circle dance before it ended. To begin with, we were late arriving. (I had what I think was indigestion and little sister had a full outfit changing poop.) From the look of things, it didn't look like a thing too great. Big sister was expecting drums, indigenous dancers, long flowing skirts, and flowers everywhere. I was expecting a circle and people clomping. We saw a couple of square scarfs on the floor with a couple of small candles in safe little glasses in the middle of the big hall floor--indoors. People were standing in small groups in the corners looking at us like we had something exciting to share. But we were selfish tonight.
We went, as a family--big sister, little sister, Daddy, and Mama--outdoors. In the great soccer field near our home we stopped under the stars. I walked into the field with little sister strapped to my back thinking it should be just dry enough for my purposes. I knelt on the ground and dug in with my fingers. The ground was damp from the rain of the past two days, but today had been sunny, so everything was just right. There was a bit of cloud cover, but you could see the stars. It was clear, cool, and we were warm from walking. I smelled my fingers for dog poop then spread mud with two fingers across big sister's cheeks. She giggled. I called Daddy near and got him too. I dotted my fingers on little sister's nose. After putting mud on my cheeks I looked up and took a deep breath.
Who do you know that's died? "Phoebe Washer" Well, you didn't really know her, you never met her. "How about Grampa Jim?" Yes, that's it, Dad's right, think of him, you met him. Now think of all your great grandparents and your Great, Great Tia Leda and all your ancestors that made it possible for you to be here today. Now look at the stars and feel the ground below your feet. Little sister was quiet. Enjoy it. We held hands.
Now that's what you do. That's what.