I stand at my mother’s graveside, blowing soap bubbles and singing after the burial, feeling the peace and lightness. I blow slowly, carefully, bathing the air with relaxed attention as the bubbles float this way and that, catching the light in pastels and jewel-like clarity as they drift. Something serene is here. As the bubbles vanish, they dissolve into the air, skies, and grasses, soak into the surround. So very fitting.
This embodied moment: So fleeting and delicate, against the background so eternal and vast. Humbling. I embrace other family members in support, grateful to be able to give it and to let the peace ripple out around me, penetrating all.
The next day, I begin the driving back to my beloved desert; three times within a day’s passage torrential rains lash the highway, dropping visibility to near zero, high winds nearly sending the van aloft, hail and chunks of ice hammering the roof and windshield. The road workers are absent, but the concrete barriers loom inches away from each side of the narrow lane as I arch my energetic wings up and over the top of the van and center my gaze. Gratitude for peace and safety ripple out as I float between the barriers, onto the lake that is the lane, across bridges, with only the flashers of the truck up ahead and an occasional glimpse of lane markings to orient. Back and forth this goes: Calm to storm to calm to storm and back again. The New Mexico storm is impressive–a huge black disk, drawn down at the center as if someone poked a hole in a dark fluffy Frisbee. The road travels directly beneath the downward thrust of rain and hail.
The body in the casket was so empty, a piece of painted cardboard, a soap bubble mostly popped. It was like this too at age four, the first family funeral; one look and I could see the animating life was gone from the body and only the shell remained. I wondered at the mourners crying over something that had already been vacated. This time, too, the body seemed to almost glimmer and fall apart, like a crayon drawing or a carelessly placed prop in a play. There is grace in the relief from suffering there.
In the desert, at the edge of water, the memory comes unbidden of the time when I learned inwardly that my teacher through the eons, ready for other challenges, was departing to realms far from any matter-energy existence and would no longer be accessible in the dream state or through inner communication, but that assistance would always be available from others in case of need. This body was so young that the message blurred out through time as it arrived until its entry point was no longer distinct–again, fitting for the place from which it came, a place without space or time where all moments and dimensions are playthings floating through a much vaster tapestry. Noticing that I could no longer feel his presence, I felt more wistfulness than I have ever felt on the death of anyone I have known in embodied life, due not to death, but psychic absence, an exotic graduation. Perhaps this is how Obi-Wan Kenobi felt when Qui-Gon Jinn or Yoda rejoined the Force.
My teacher, my teacher, my guardian–even though I need you no longer, and exult in your far-flung mobility, it is not easy to be ever the strong one for others, walking embodied, here-now on Gaia. Still, I serve. That is my purpose and my being; it is fullness. More soap bubbles blow out over the water.