Freeing the Mother

The day started calmly. My sister and I woke early; my nephew was a bit slower. Caring as always, my sister prepared a picnic for later. Although she was playing it cool, I sensed her excitement in our adventure to the 'Tap of noth' Rhynie, Scotland. Mum joined us, gently placed into my rucksack, as the final leg of her journey in our world drew closer.

Driving and listening to Ludovico Euandi, our chat brought joyful memories to the surface. I found a presence here with my family.

Arriving at the base, sister and nephew expressed trepidation at the steep sections of the climb. Navigating cattle gates, the damp grass seeped through our socks until we met the gravelled incline to the summit.

Precipitation fluxed, jacket on = dry + jacket off = cool down, was the functional equation of the walk. Small steps and deep breaths supported the flow of movement and heightened awareness of the now.

Overlooking the 360 summit view, the wind blew our attention toward Rhynie at the valley's depth. Mums home, Mums Roots.

A bank of Scottish Heather (my sister's name) with a large rock beckoned as a final resting place and landmark overlooking the valley. We all agreed this felt right.

I was tentative in opening the vessel that held my mother's remains, and I found space, breathed and tipped it over, zig-zagging across the bank of heather, watching the dust blow toward her home. I stopped and called my sister over to continue; as she approached, I held her close and reminded her of my love. With her effort, Mum was freed on to the wind. My nephew took over from his mother, the youngest generation of our family, rightly saying goodbye to the oldest one he knew.

The wind was still with us, but I spoke the Tao Te Ching(V52) words over the gusts.

"The world has a source: the world's mother.
Once you have the mother, You know the children.
Once you know the children, Return to the mother.
Your body dies. There is no danger.
Block the passage, Bolt the gate: No strain Until your life ends.
Open the passage, Take charge of things
No relief Until your life ends.
Seeing the small is called brightness.
Maintaining gentleness is called strength.
Use this brightness to return to brightness.
Don't cling to your body's woes.
Then you can learn endurance."

We all took a breath, absorbed the view and readied for decent. A sense of completion fell over me. I was silent while my family spoke of the journey so far.

Bringing us level with valley walls, our descent firstly silenced the winds sheltered. I looked ahead to cloud breaking, and a vivid rainbow sat at the base of this historic hill. We all stood in awe, the universe providing us with a sign of alignment of our actions. I felt mum with us, watching and smiling.

Stopping for a picnic, the sky remained blue, and the sun shone. After sandwiches, my sweet tooth kicked in. My suggestion of going for coffee and cake (A fine piece) certainly was met with approval by all involved in the adventure, including mum.

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