I was looking closely at the pictures of my memorial tree. The tree I have chosen. The surveyor spike is in the ground… with my name on it. Chills rattled my spine. And I laughed.
The marker reads, “Earth Sanctuary Memorial Tree, Michele Stowell, Western Red Cedar”. It’s a little bit like the headstones in the cemetery, the ones with a birth year, but no death year, because the person is ALIVE. Checking, ya, I’m still alive.
Karolynne ventured out onto the island the second day of our visit. We started our walk at the Earth Sanctuary on the side near the Stupa (the Buddhist meditation structure). We wandered down the hill and onto the trail by the pond, heading right. There were beautiful things to see, and amusing things (to the immature mind).
We are still making comical comments about the rock sculptures that strongly depict the masculine and the feminine. Kwami wanted Karolynne to pose next to the masculine. She rightfully refused!
As we wandered, we discovered an enormous boulder. The quote from Shrek is popping into my head. “I like that boulder. That is a nice boulder.” It is! We stopped to sit on it, or alongside it and pray. Kwami led a meditation, and we brought our minds to the world the Divine intends. And my tree watched.
It was an easy decision, picking this particular tree. It stands uphill from the “nice boulder”. If you quietly place yourself on top of the rock, facing the pond, listening to the ducks and frogs, the tree has your back, to the left anyway. To the left, to the left (you’re irreplaceable).
The cedar stands tall enough to have light and longevity. It can see all the ponds from the sky view. It is easy to hang out with, even if you don’t know which one it is, and can’t find the marker! The boulder is hard to miss. It just feels right.
When we were reading “A Year to Live”, by Stephen Levine, he urged us all to wrap it up. Take care of business. The shiver down my spine indicated something. Relief. Conclusion. Celebration. Elation.
This tree, the Earth Sanctuary, having made a decision for my ashes, elates me.