Epiphany 2015


Early morning, before sunrise. Moonset over the Corinthian Gulf, just as the first light of the day strikes the mountains.

Thirty six degrees Fahrenheit and two degrees Celsius, I walked down the promenade and shivered against the wind. Distant mountains were capped white from last nights storm. The cold stung the air and froze the senses but at least it wasn’t raining.

I did not envy the people who would soon dive into the winter waters of the Corinthian Gulf to retrieve a wooden cross. But this is an annual tradition, one I have adopted as my own. It was only last year when I ventured out in curiosity and returned home feeling one step closer to the culture I yearn to understand.

But this year is different. My dog who accompanied me on all my journeys, has since passed away and though time has healed the shock, in this lonely walk I wished he was with me.

Sunrise brings the days’ first warmth, a stray cloud ventures across the sky. 

The same cat I saw last year, crosses my path. Preparations for the Epiphany tradition have just began.

I am early, so I find warmth in a cafe frequented by who I fear are the last true Gentlemen on Earth – a generation with memories of war, starvation, polite handshakes, and belief that a meal with meat is luxury. Gentlemen who wear long black coats and link arms with their wives who are dressed in perfumed furs. Though I do not speak to them, I hold dearly onto their presence.

The sounds of church bells break through the chatter, and in a rush we all head outside to the port.

Which has been replaced since last years celebration. 

 A stray dog joins the marching crowd.

As the priest hold onto their hats, and the cross is thrown into the sea, there is a moment of awkward silence. Who is willing to jump this year?

A man braves up and soon is joined by two more.

They dive into the icy waters. The cross is quickly retrieved.

 Both the crowd and I are quick to turn our backs and return to the warm cafes.

But thankfully a woman stayed behind, realizing that the brave divers would need help climbing back up the new port.

As I walked home, there was a moment of awareness that swiftly turned into confusion and was replaced by reality: for a moment there, I could have sworn I heard my dog’s footsteps behind me.

It was then something caught my eye. A cloud was gliding over the Corinthian Gulf – a cloud that appeared to be an angel.

3 Responses to “Epiphany 2015

  • Beautiful Melissa, I lost my dog Daisy 3 years ago, and I still feel that she is with me!! <3

    • I’m so sorry for your loss. I believe animals (just like people) come into our lives for a reason, and they are never gone. <3

  • I’m sorry for the passing of your dog.

    “A man in the night kindles the light for himself when his vision is extinguished; living, he is in contact with the dead, when asleep, and with the sleeper, when awake.”

    – H. Diels

    Death can be thought of as a nearness to actual life…

    “And so man, as existing transcendence abounding in and surpassing toward possibilities, is a creature of distance. Only through the primordial distances he establishes toward all being in his transcendence does a true nearness to things flourish in him.” – Heidegger

    In essence…you may be now closer to your dog than ever before, in light, in the distance of death. 🙂

    To the hope in possibility…and to possibility and its nearness!

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