The Earth Sanctuary representative, Chuck, wrote several responses to my questions about choosing a tree from that particular forest for my ashes to “rest”. It all seems so silly, the way we talk about decomposition of the body, or placement of the ashes. Living as human is temporary. Being the true core of your being is permanent.
The body is disposable, and far more recyclable than a plastic milk bottle.
Apparently, when we visit Whidbey Island in the next two days, I can stop in to the Earth Sanctuary and pick a location. I’m both perplexed and want to burst out in rolling laughter. I don’t care. I really don’t. I thought that choosing the spiritual location for ashes was a gift in itself, but I can choose a tree to represent me as well.
I think an evergreen is more my style than a deciduous leaf tree. Something successful, that stands tall enough to see the sun, and creates a lot of oxygen to support the mammals. A hemlock? Known for its poetic poison. A fir? So, so, so many cones. The fir trees rain thousands of irritating cones on the lawn at Dad’s house every year. But in the forest, that is food, for the earth and for the small animals.
Today, before I am actually walking in the space, I think that the answer is cedar. The cedar tree is the spiritual representative of the north, of the elders, of those who have gone before us. It is the regional representative of longhouses, canoes, ropes and baskets.
The red cedar is known as “the tree of life”. Life continues. When I have stepped into death, I continue. I am here now. I will, in a sense, be here then.
“As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be…” (the Glory Be).