“Love is the whole thing and we are the pieces” – Rumi
What does this rock look like to you? To me I saw a heart the moment my eyes discovered it. I was sitting alone in the Tankwa Karoo at Afrikaburn next to a massive heart-shaped structure in the desert. The desert floor was showered in rocks of varying shapes and sizes and I had cleared out a small patch just big enough for my bottom to rest in.
The rocks I had cleared away are ancient. In fact they were formed from sediment that washed down rivers and streams from the Andes mountains (which amazingly enough were only about 700km away from the Tankwa Karoo before the splitting of Gondwanaland) to rest in an inland basin where they slowly started to form the rocks that we see today some 250 million years later.
I was thinking about one of my oldest and dearest friends, Cath, and her mum who had been sick for so long. I play this game when I’m away from people that I love. It’s simple. It goes like this… I close my eyes and see if I can feel them no matter how far away they may be from me physically. The moment I did this to feel Glenda, Cath’s mom, my breath caught. “Oh she’s gone now,” I thought. “She’s finally let go”. And when I opened my eyes this heart-shaped rock was lying at my feet.
When I got back to the city I saw the message from Cath saying that Glends had passed the very morning I had this experience.
I got instant goosebumps. What are the chances? Out of a desert showered with rocks that have travelled all the way from the Andes, I managed to see the one that has been whittled into the shape of a heart over the last 250 million years. And it happened whilst I sat contemplating Glends next to the only giant metal heart for hundreds of kilometers.
We’re more connected to each other and to everything than we could ever really know. Love is the whole thing and we are the pieces.
I love you Cath Grainger. There is so much to be said about the magical woman that your mother is and was. Glends you had the heart of a warrior. Now we carry you in ours every day, choosing to remember Rumi’s wise words. “Goodbyes are only for those who love with their eyes. Because for those who love with heart and soul there is no such thing as separation.”