I hope I get her agates when she dies.  Maybe not her entire collection, for I don’t want to appear greedy.  Even one amber agate to soften the excruciating loss of her.  I imagine cradling it.   Letting the essence of her wash over me.  She would laugh, “There is no agate door to me once I am dead and gone.” 

But she is leaving me behind and doesn’t get to decide what magic I believe.

After enduring fires of disease, she emerged more beautiful.  As if that was even possible.   Hopes of rebuilding her heart led to beach walks and agates.  “The way to find them,” she told me, “is to tune everything else out.”  “Slow down and look for reflections of light.”   Was she teaching me to spot agates or to live a more purpose filled life?     


 Each agate is proof she found something ancient and sublime.  Traveling from tiny cavities in metamorphic lava to here, now beneath her feet.  Waves cheered her on.  Churning billions of miniscule sand particles forming the oceanic orchestra delivering agates to her waiting hands.  “It’s merely coincidence,” she would tell me.  

But she is leaving me behind and doesn’t get to decide what magic I believe.

On days she willed herself to walk the beach she tuned out dying and looked for light.  She would have hated knowing I wanted to hide her safely in the bottom of my pocket.  Death would not think to look for her there.  Instead I drove to rocky beaches.  Walked on stones dangerously green with slime, my eyes seeking desperately for elusive agates as a way to be with her.

When she’s returned to the Earth, I trust I will hear her in comforting waves breathing in and out.  I trust I will feel her in shells and seaweed and sun warmed sand.   With each radiant agate I discover, I will whisper, “I miss you.”  She would laugh and say, “That is not me.  I am no more.” 

But gazing at the vastness of the ocean, how can I help but believe in magic? 



8 thoughts on “Agates

  1. Teresa, this is stunningly beautiful. I can feel your pain. And am so sorry you are going through that. You are an amazing writer – I am at a loss for words to convey how much this touched me. Thank you for sharing so deeply.

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