Hope McKenzie snorkeled over her underwater garden covered with corals of pastel shades; pink, purples, greens and yellows. The abundance of life captivated her every time, the bright colored fish, yellow seahorses and big blue starfish. There were camouflaged sand-gropers, varieties of sea slugs and black spindly creatures looking out from underneath pyramid shaped shells. There were camouflaged sand-gropers, varieties of sea slugs and black spindly creatures looking out from underneath pyramid shaped shells.
This was her safe, beautiful place. Also her thinking place where all outside noise became silent and time seemed to stand still, suspended in the crystal clear waters that rippled against her skin. And today as she swam beneath the water she knew it was time for her journey south to Tasmania to scatter her mum’s ashes.
She knew as soon as she saw her mum in the hospital that this would be a journey she would soon be taking. Her mum had been in a car accident caused by a drunk driver and had suffered severe brain injuries. The doctors had done all they could and the rest was left to time. Time did not wait very long. For three days and three nights Hope sat by her mum’s side, holding her hand and stroking her hair. Then she had the doctors turn the machines off, and as their beeping stopped so did her mum’s breathe. Hope had never felt more alone.
But from this suffering of loneliness a question arose inside. No longer being able to escape the reality of death, not just of her mum’s but of her own Hope began to ask the question: Who am I?
Watch this video by Jagad Guru Chris Butler to get a detailed knowledge on this question Who Am I?
She knew some people believe that we are mortal, and death is the end of our existence while others believe that we exist, in some form, that there is life after death. Hope knew which one she wanted to believe but she also knew that she needed something deeper than just a belief. She needed to know the truth, the real value of the self even if it that was to be not what she wanted to hear.
Twelve months had passed since then and today she knew it was time. Although Hope wished she could stay hiding in her safe place forever wrapped up in the warm memories of her mum she knew it was time to have courage. Not just courage for the physical journey that lay ahead, as this would be a journey by sail boat, but courage to seek and be open to the truth and to begin the real journey.
Hope had not even considered any other mode of transportation other than by sail boat. It was the family tradition. The family tree, on her mum’s side, was laden with old salts and this had come to be the way in which it was to be. A family member is to take the ashes of the deceased body to the place of scattering by sea. This tradition had of course provided many stories that both her mum and grandparents used to tell her. Hope knew it was her mum’s wish for the tradition to continue and Hope knew that she would always honor that wish of her mum’s.
She had the boat and she had the skill. Now she just hoped that her courage and determination would remain. Being alone at sea Hope was not quite sure how exactly she would find the answer to her question but she remembered once reading a Hindu quote ‘If you take one sincere step towards the truth then the truth will take a thousand steps towards you’. She hoped that this would be true.
It was the end of September giving her only had a month to be ready for when the first of the northerly winds began to blow, which was usually in late October. Hope knew her boat well, kept it maintained and sailed it often but still for a passage like this one that would take her into the heavy waters of the Tasman Sea everything needed to be checked by a fine tooth comb.
Stay tuned for the part 2 of 2 i.e. coming soon.
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