essays by Shé

Muertos

In Love on November 1, 2022 at 10:27 am

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

Mary Pat and Johnny, 1964

  1. beautiful piece–coming full circle–some things are elemental.

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