A gentle breeze nudges the branches of the trees, the warmth of the April sun sliding through the dense pine branches of a peaceful forest. Just the soft sound of the small sticks and branches cracking underfoot as feet walk on the earth, soft earth made so from decades of pine needles falling at the end of their life. There is the odd chirp of small birds as they busy themselves with finding nesting material, new life beginning as old life is being honoured.
Back in the depths of winter a beautiful woman died, or if you prefer, passed over, transitioned … whichever phrase sits best with you. She left behind two incredible daughters, both grown up but too young to lose their mother.
Today is the birthday of this beautiful woman, a day when her ashes would be scattered, given back to the earth. Her daughters had envisaged a different day, a day to celebrate the life of their mum, they had wanted to hold a large gathering of all her friends and family, to spend the day together, hugging, being close to each other, sharing stories and memories, laughing, crying, dancing, consoling, just being together in their grief in whatever way felt natural and right to them.
But we have lock down amidst Coronavirus …
Friends and family are contacted, asked to on this special day, the day of this beautiful woman’s birth, to create their own land art, light a candle, raise a glass, sow seeds, dance, do whatever feels right to them to remember, honour and celebrate this beautiful woman’s life. Messages are sent, pictures shared, love pouring in from friends and family as they come together in a virtual way.
In the meantime this beautiful woman’s daughters tread gently through the forest, a forest that they have walked with their mum many times over the years, the trees holding them in a gentle embrace as they create their own memorial ceremony full of land art to give to the forest in honour of their beautiful mother, memories spontaneously arising, sharing and being, loving and grieving.
Hours go by, they walk slowly home … was it what they had envisaged back in the depths of winter? No, but it was a day full to the brim with love, so much love, love that hurt, love that brought joy, love that spread across the country, amidst homes and gardens. Love knows no barriers of time and distance; love reaches and touches us all. The real challenge is to keep our hearts open to others even when they are breaking …