Tea ceremony 58

The ruins lie in the sunlight, no longer smoldering. The houses on either side sit silently, dappled by the shifting light through the trees that line the quiet street. A small cloud drifts lazily overhead in the otherwise cloudless blue of the afternoon sky. Somewhere in the far off distance a dog begins to bark, breaking the silence. A car sits in the driveway, facing the blackened heap that used to be a home.

The girl stands at the edge of the driveway, a sorrowful look upon her face. In her left hand she holds a bible. The bible is old and well-worn. She opens it to the place she had marked, and in a soft but steady voice reads from Corinthians 15:

“Behold, I will tell you a mystery; We shall not all sleep but we shall be changed.”

When she is finished, she walks past the car, absently placing the bible on the roof of the car, and continues to walk up to the very edge of the ruins. Gingerly, carefully, she steps through the charred remains of what had once been a house. She is looking down, an intent look upon her face, as though searching for something.

Then, in one graceful movement, she stoops down and picks up a soot covered teapot. It is still somehow intact. She looks down at the pot for a long while, holding it gently by its white porcelain handle. She runs her finger over the smooth surface, slowly and carefully tracing a perfect circle.

Well, almost a perfect circle.

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