Today is the birthday of my cousin Mindy. Instead of getting together for a birthday lunch or dinner, I’m thinking of her and missing her. Mindy passed away January 8th, near the beginning of my year of journeys. Not a day goes by that I don’t think of her or something reminds me of her.
Last week Greg came across a website that he shared with me. Called Trees for Life, this organization’s core purpose and vision is to restore the Caledonian Forest, and all its constituent species of flora and fauna, to the Scottish Highlands.
I was intrigued. Scotland is very dear to me, as it was to Mindy as well. Last year we had an amazing adventure in that green country. Mindy’s son William accompanied us and we spent ten magical days touring Scotland. We explored Glasgow and Edinburgh, and the Borders where we toured Thirlestane Castle, home of our ancestors. We stayed in the Lauderdale Hotel in the village of Lauder.
And we spent a day in the Highlands, surely one of the most beautiful places on Earth. The deep mysterious lochs, the mountains with water trickling down them, the forests so dense that sunlight couldn’t reach the fern and moss covered ground, all enchanted us and made our hearts ache and our eyes fill with tears. This was a land we had not visited before, that felt like home.
Trees for Life is working to restore the forests that once covered most of northern Scotland, preserving the ecosystem and the forests for wildlife and for future generations. Every year, hundreds of people volunteer with Trees for Life to plant trees, remove non-native species and grow young trees in the nursery at Dundreggan. They have planted over a million trees and are now working to expand the forests with another million by 2018.
I was thrilled to learn that I could purchase a tree, in Mindy’s name, and that the tree would be planted in the Highlands. That tree will live and grow, along with other young trees, ensuring the continuation of the Caledonian Forests. The timing of Greg’s discovery was perfect, as Mindy’s birthday was approaching. It doesn’t surprise me when these synchronicities happen. Instead I am so grateful. The Divine brings exactly what’s needed. I can’t think of a better way to honor Mindy and celebrate her life than by planting a tree for her in Scotland.
I’ll receive a packet in the mail with information about the tree that was planted and a certificate that says “In Memory of Mindy Davidson”. I added the words, from Gandalf’s quote about death: “The journey does not end here.” Beautiful soul, my dear Mindy, I’m so glad the journey continues on. Watch over this little tree, planted in your name. Someday soon I’ll return to the Scottish Highlands and stand in silence, soaking in the beauty, and thinking of you. Happy birthday. I love you.