When I was quite young, my father died in a fire that destroyed half our village. It took years to rebuild and recover from the damage. I don't remember my father that much, but I remember enough. I remember his smile, the way all his teeth glinted marvelously, the crinkle of his eyes. I remember his tone, which could be as gentle as a breeze and also cut like a knife. I remember his tone on that night, strong and unwavering, his eyes, a calm sea, ready to meet the flames, and his smile, given generously to comfort me. He raised a hand and wiped the tear from my cheek. He looked at my mother and gave her a look only she could understand before leaving to go help the others fight the flames. I remember his funeral. We were given ashes in a crystal vase with no way of knowing if they were all his. My mother and I traveled to the edge of the forest, where the forest broke to open plain, and then we kept going. Past the plains to rolling hills, past the rivers and streams that lead to marshy green earth that swallowed up my toes with each step, until we finally reached the ocean. I remember that moment so vividly, because I had never seen the ocean before. It reached up to greet me from the sand. I watched the waves dance back and forth with effortless ease and my mother scatter the ashes into the wind.