Roadside Memorial

The thin marine layer acts as filter, holding back the colors of morning. All that is left is a vacant landscape all in grey tones. A normally vibrant view is reduced to a silhouette of hills and buildings. We approach the place. A place most of us travel again and again – part of our rut. The traffic is slow and purposeful. We want to see the place. We take our time. This morning, the first day of business traffic through this thin stretch of Pacific Coast Highway.

A sudden surprise; everything is swept and clear. Expectations were to see the spot as it was; glass and shards of metal strewn around, a flicker indicating the presence of a traffic flare. But as we pass we can see no evidence of the damage done just two days earlier. If one hadn’t heard – one would never know.

Then it is seen, the humble roadside memorial. Against the city codes, it stands “permitted” today; an exception to the rules marks the spot where 3 souls were separated from their bodies.

“Too soon” some would lament … yet not, He always knew what the news would be that day. As though already published He had awareness of the headlines and the report we would hear;

    a woman in her 20s, a man in his 40s and his mother in her 60s.

Too soon? Perhaps by our standards, but the number of their days was already known to Him at their birth.

Three spots of flower-filled color, three clear, fresh candles. They pierce the grey tones of the morning and remind us to live as though this day were our last.

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