Every morning, before I light the fire, I have to remove some of yesterday's ashes from the firebox. My culture teaches me to think about ash as the remnants of something, as refuse.
As I scoop the ash from the wood stove I notice how beautiful it is. There seem to be a million different grays and shades of black. The shapes are as plentiful, from tiny specs smaller than a grain of dust to larger flakes. I study them for a moment before I release them into the ash bucket, where they collapse, fragile as a Snowflake, and billow up like smoke.
I am struck by this beautiful transformation I am privileged to witness.