We ride horses across the plains,
the air bittersweet with sage and sunflowers.
I tie my bay to a ponderosa,
as my brother, sister-in-law, and niece secure their horses.
We hike to a cliff overlooking Coyote Creek,
a pooling oasis that trickles down from the Turkey Mountains.
My brother hands me the box, pale blue with a white dove on the side.
Inside I find a plastic bag, which I remove and hold in my palm.
Suddenly all the ways I held my mother flash before me.
I held her arthritic hand, the bones sharp against my skin.
I hugged her, pressed my fingers into the tender spot between her shoulder blades.
I supported her as she walked with tortured knees, her weight on my shoulder.
I lifted her off her bedroom floor after she fell, her arms like liquid.
But I never held her as dust.
The realization that this smoky matter is her body ricochets through my chest.
This is my mother, my mind beseeches.
But no, the Beloved answers.
She soars in formless grace,
while this is but another piñon shell
scattered across the forest floor.
I step to the cliff edge and sprinkle the ashes.
They take flight, swirling in the wind,
becoming one with her favorite place.
My brother and sister-in-law release the rest
and then, teary-eyed, we hug.
I sense how we are all perched between this now and eternity,
between these mortal bodies and our everlasting selves.
And that is our truest task,
to know how much we dance and play and love beyond this cliff edge.
We ride back, the sun warming our cheeks
and glinting off the gramma grass.
Then we feast, and laugh, and become so tired
we have no choice but to lie down in the Beloved’s arms
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I was immediately drawn, and inspired, by your title ‘Loving Beyond the Cliff Edge’. Thank you.
Such beautiful imagery that always hits its mark so deep within me. Thank you Lesley
I was right there with you. Tears. This is a ritual I have yet to do. Thank you for exposing the Sound and Beauty in it.
Lovely, and very touching. Perfect title.
So sorry for the loss of your mother. You displayed such intense feelings in your poem.
how beautifully you expressed your journey. I great writer draws you in to the moment and you experience the story as if you are there. I was there and could relate it to my experience with my mom. So touching, loving and transporting from the emotional into the Beloved’s arms.
You are a troubadour of courage and the written word.
Love to you,
Beautifully said …..perfect for those of us who had similar experiences…. But were unable to find the words …thank you…hugs and love
Our thresholds of involution as expressed through bhakti’s surrendering essence…priceless! Iridescent love is YOU dearest Lesley!
Thank you all for your kind comments. It is such a joy to experience life through our Beloved’s eyes, so that there really is no tragedy, only experience, and all exists for our unfoldment.
“All in For Love” has been so fulfilling, that today is the first time I have ventured into the blogs. I’m so glad I did. I’m reminded of holding my own mother’s ashes in my hands and all of the powerful feelings and images that came with that. I have wondered if your mother was still in the piñon shell that you cherished and supported your entire life. I’m saddened to hear of her passing, but also consoled. It must have been time. Wishing you much love and the continued peace that flows from every line of “Living Beyond the Cliff Edge.”
Thank you, Stephani. I’m happy that you are enjoying All In for Love, and that this poem brought back fond images of your mother’s passing. Loving and saying goodbye to these souls is a monumental experience. I did have many wonderful times with my mother when she was here, and I am ever grateful for them. Many blessings, dear soul.
This past weekend, my partner and also one of my best friends said farewell to their mothers as they transitioned from this earth plane. I shared this poem with both of them. The words and imagery gave them so much comfort. You touch so many in ways that are impossible to describe by sharing your gift of conveying the living truth through your writings. Thank you from my heart and soul.
Thank you for enjoying this and for sharing it, Helen, and for your kind words. I do my best to bring the Love through, knowing how touching even a spark can be. We are so blessed.