Your 24th was one for the books. Whenever I am spacing out or just about to slip into sleep, I imagine those graceful, floating lanterns swirling down the Arkansas with the huge, blood red moon reflecting on the water. I just want to run that scene on repeat in my head somedays. Its kinda similar to not wanting a thunderstorm to stop pattering the roof and booming the sky.
Besides seeing you in my dreams I have struggled to really feel your presence back here with me. I remember writing you a birthday love note on the outside of my lantern and decorating the wooden base with mandalas and roses. I feel like I could have done that for hours just hanging out in the grass drawing like a little kid but thank god everyone else kept me on schedule.
I loved the parade down to the river edge with everyone clutching their little personalized lantern for you. The night was growing dark as the candles flamed and then slowly we started placing them into the current one by one. And off they went bobbing along together slowly moving along the river. I am not really sure if people were actually silent but I was in my own little bubble with you.
Once I placed your light on the water I just thought it would follow the others and float on. But it just stayed there right next to me on the shore. It was like I couldn’t let you go and drift away and maybe (or so I like to think) you were holding on too. I literally had to push that lantern away to go and catch up with the others. Which were now all heading to a low hanging tree! Oh shit.
I just couldn’t let them have that short of a journey so I just automatically started wading in the water on a mission. And boom Ori was right there with me–no questions asked–in that nasty ass water to save the day! Definitely went for gold and had to actually swim to get to the tree and start saving lanterns. It was hilarious! The current was way stronger than we thought but the sketchiness was way worth it to see your lights continue on the river. We knew you would be the first to hop in that murky water too so it was pretty suiting!
Thank you for that night. I will always remember it.