When Ash Wednesday arrived, I felt downright guilty for not having a smudge on my forehead—but I also couldn’t bear the thought of a liturgical service. The “break-up” is too fresh. So instead I enjoyed the tulips I’d bought a few days before to commemorate my late father’s birthday. They were saggy when I first brought them home, but on Wednesday they stood straight up, red-and-yellow sentinels attesting to the goodness of God. Oh, I remembered that I’m dust. I remember it every day. But at least I was able to honor the beauty around me as I slowly return to ash.