Monday, October 05, 2009
"Resting" being an understatement, since their activities may also include flying, swirling, scudding, and fertilizing giant fir trees.
My mom passed away a little over a year ago, and my father twelve years back. His ashes have since resided in a kind of shrine I built to him atop a bookshelf. My mother's wish was that her ashes be scattered alongside my dad's in the New Mexico mountains.
Lately I've had the feeling that it was about time we got around to fulfilling her wishes in this matter.
Saturday was a perfect warm autumn day: Kathy and I headed for the mountains along with our friend Pat, who was skwunched in the back of my two-seater. I had put my parents in a knapsack for the trip.
I don't want to say exactly where I went, lest I trigger the indignation of some civil servant, but we moved along a mountain trail till we came to a ledge with a terrific view. There was a lot of dust in the air, so we probably couldn't see more than twenty miles: but on a clear day you could easily see fifty miles or more. There was a gusty wind blowing, but there weren't any of those annoying updrafts that could have blown my parents' remains back into my face.
I had brought my folks' wedding picture along, dated in my mother's hand: 6-4-1946. I placed the photo where it would have a view of the proceedings, then poured the ashes out into a single pile. We said whatever words we felt appropriate. (For myself, I told my parents that they'd done a good job.)
There were hugs. We ate cookies, got back in the car, and descended a switchback road back into the valley of life.