I stand knee deep in snow near the spot where Jim and I buried Mom's ashes last June.
The lilac bush I planted there is covered by snow--I hope it's still living. Colorado blue spruce overlook the spot, near where the ashes of her parents are buried close to their cabin at Trout Lake.
Is this why I drove from Los Angeles to Colorado on January 1 and 2? All I knew was that I needed solitude and beauty.
But standing here, I realize I am drawn to this spot. Being here is a way to talk to my mother.
"Are you cold?" I ask her silently. "Would you rather still be with us?"
Of course, I answer for her. I feel her longing for Christmas, the cheer of being with all of us at this time of year.
Instead her ashes rest under this snow.
But she would not have wanted to suffer, I tell myself. Having her Depends changed twice or three times in the night by male caregivers, being showered and lifted in and out of chairs and her bed, being badgered into taking her medications, living in a care facility rather than at my house... she hated it.
I remember how accepting she was of her final parting.
"I won't be here tomorrow," she told a caregiver. She wasn't even interested in her book, Adventures of a Telluride Native, formerly a source of great pride.
Does she have consciousness now? Perhaps not. Perhaps she doesn't mind her ashes being here, alone under this tree.
Or perhaps her consciousness is greatly expanded, wide as the Milky Way, joyful, in God's presence.
I don't know. But I still feel drawn to this spot. There are dried sunflowers in the house from last summer, and I want to lay them on the snow here.