I fell in love with India- it is teeming with life and maybe that is why I am attracted to it today. My mother is slipping away- so I turn to a place with a life force so enormous it carries on -
on the Ganges- in Varanasi - each evening the Aarti ceremony takes place- the offering of the light- at sunset. people also release their own cares and wishes in smaller offerings directly onto the water with these lights:
here is a picture of the ceremony from the water-
and one of the sunset over the Ganges
here is a photo from the early morning of the ghats that lead down to the river:
we went down the river to the place where the funeral pyres burned. families of mourners attended as their relative was cremated and the spirit released- my mother has requested to be cremated and her ashes scattered. my father's ashes were scattered in the Gulf of Mexico - something that is apparently available to veterans of the US Navy.
while this seems to be kind of a downer post I am feeling mostly peaceful for my mother. she leaves on her own terms and while she never got to India in life, my intention of returning there in the next couple of years will allow her to get there in a different form.
I returned to India in 2007, two years after the first trip- that was the trip where we attended the wedding that is in a video in an earlier post. in that same year we visited Bhutan - and there is a photo from that trip that I am especially drawn to today- prayer flags flying in a mountain pass - so close to "heaven" - the flags stay in place until the elements carry off the prayers and there is nothing left but the string they hang on.
energy can neither be created nor destroyed....we go on...