The Promise

I told you of my sacred place, the waterfall where I found love,

The place I feel my soul has known for a thousand years and a thousand more. 

“Will you take me there when I am gone, so that I can become a part of the beautiful river?”, you asked. “Then you will think of me every time you visit and you will feel me there.”

And I promised you that I would. 

Today, I fulfilled my promise, journeying to the mountains, to the falls, my precious cargo held to my heart. 

We read poems, offered prayers, told stories, and then I released you into the pristine falls, as you became a part of the swirling Nantahala, timeless. 

The crashing falls sing hymns to me, for this, your last farewell. The spray kisses my tears, but they are tears of remembrance, tears of thanksgiving. 

 You have come full circle, becoming elemental, becoming one with the water and the earth, your spirit already flying free, boundless, infinite love. 

And now, I feel you everywhere around me. You caress my cheek with the wind, your laughter bubbles in the rushing water, your stories echo in the call of the Mountain Warbler. 

My sacred place has become even more sacred. My church, filled with the spirit of joy, of gratitude, of love everlasting. Peace. 


Written to be read at the release of my mother’s ashes into the Knottyhead Falls in the upper Nantahala River in Western North Carolina, the place where Dan and I were engaged and later married on the Summer Solstice. Mom loved my photos and videos of the falls…here is our special place:

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