In December 2000, my then-husband and I traveled to Missouri with our new babies. While we were there on Christmas Eve, we visited the park where we had scattered our eldest daughter's ashes in the summer of 1999. My former mother-in-law gave us a clipping from an evergreen tree in their yard to leave at the memorial site. It was from an ordinary evergreen tree (probably a variety of spruce or fir) and ordinary clipping, slightly larger than my hand. When we went to the park, we left that clipping on rocks near the opening of an underground spring. It was a cold but clear winter day at 15 degrees Fahrenheit, and there was about 12 inches of snow on the ground.
Can this be explained logically? Maybe. The weather was cold in December, and the constantly cool fresh stream water probably helped the cutting stay fresh. However, the temperature in Missouri in April is usually in the 40s overnight and 60s during the day, higher than the sub-freezing temperatures we had experienced in December. Furthermore, there had been many rains during those four months, and the rain and the regular current of the stream should have moved the evergreen cutting downstream long before our return. Anyone who has had a real cut Christmas tree can also affirm that even with water, it does have a limited lifespan before needles begin falling and the whole tree turns brown. One wouldn't usually expect an evergreen clipping to stay green for four months even in ideal condition.
For me, though, this is one of those situations where I think the probability of all the perfect conditions lining up are very unlikely without the influence of higher powers. I believe that the green evergreen branch was kept in that condition at that site as a measure of comfort for me, a way of affirming for me that life does not end with death. Even if it was just a series of amazing odds, the power of the experience was incredible for me.
As a footnote, while I was finishing this blog post, Spotify began playing unprompted in the background on my computer. The synchronistic song selection? "Watching Over Me" from the Canadian Tenors. Its lyrics proclaim:
The pure, the bright, the beautiful that stirred our hearts in you
The whisper of a wordless prayer, the streams of love and truth
A longing after something lost, the spirits yearning cry
Striving after better hopes: These things can never die!
There will always be a shining sun
There will always be the rising of the sea
There will always be an angel watching over me
~Rememebering Rebecca, died and born, June 10, 1999~
©2015 Elizabeth Galen, Ph.D., Green Heart Guidance, LLC