They are holding hands, leaning back and spinning. Their twirling (or maybe their laughter?) generates light. Around and round, faster and faster, gazing at each other, eyes on the prize: mother and son. There is only Love.
It was time: five months after she left her body. She began the process on Johnny’s birthday, May 28, the day the doctor called.
I pack her ashes in the red knapsack, similar to one I had as a kid. I also pack Coe Coe’s ashes, who mothered my mother and grandmothered me.
It’s sprinkering at the trailhead (baby-brother-speak for sprinkling). The path is muddy; I slip, but don’t fall. Turn right at Mango Trail, her favorite fruit. Another quarter mile to the big banyan tree.
“Are you a witch?” a perceptive little Maui girl asked her once. Mom was up in the canopy.
“I’m a Tree Witch!” she responded. And she was — spending hours on, under, or near various trees throughout my life.
Coe Coe first, to lead the way. I unscrew the cap of the filigreed blue bottle her granddaughter gave me on our last visit. A breeze blows the ashes over Hanalei Valley, where the river sparkles down to the sea. Next, Mom, all around the gloriously wide trunk. A fold of it makes a protected alcove facing the misty mountains and ocean. I place yellow ginger blossoms in the sweet spot.
After tossing two fuchsia orchids over the bluff, I raise my arms to the cloudy sky and thank her for birthing me.
Thank you for this day. Thank you for this life. Thank you for this body. I am loving you.
Mary Pat and Johnny, 1964
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