Precious girl, punkin girl,|
Angel of each morning.
Lithe and light, eyes so bright,
You went with such short warning.
Beneath the mountain flowering;
I miss you still, upon the sill,
Awaiting sunset's lowering.
Where 'tis we know you're going.
Yet we bereft, so sadly left,
In summer, feel it snowing.
The day after she passed, I took her to Bluewater Creek, in Cibola National Forest, about 40 miles south. We went to a spot where it was easy to get down to the stream from the road. Unlike an earlier visit to the same meadow, the usual orchestra of insects and birds was totally silent this day.
I found a spot of soft ground at the edge of a pine grove, where the earth was slightly raised. I put one of my old t-shirts in the box with her, and laid her to rest. She's at the foot of a small pine, where the late morning sun will warm her.
The stream runs through a high, steep canyon on the northern edge of the Zuni mountains, so there's almost no breeze. Except for a couple of pickups passing on the gravel road early on, I don't remember a single sound while I was down there, except my own. The entire scene was as still as an empty cathedral.
I put the spade back in the truck, and walked over to the stream-side edge of the road, where I could look down and see her shady spot, on the edge of the meadow.
Across grove and meadow, above the opposite rim of the canyon, there was a large bird, circling slowly. At first I was afraid it was a buzzard, but soon saw it was a huge hawk. The reflection of the Sun on his feathers made it hard to see his color, but he was shaped like a red-tail. In Navajo tradition, the Sun is the Father spirit, and a red-tail hawk is often a messenger from the spirit world.
The setting was so beautiful, and after such profound silence, I was moved to look up and say aloud "Thank you God, for my little girl... please take good care of her." I swear on her memory that at the very instant I closed my mouth, the hawk called once. A few moments later I got in the truck, and went home.