11 October 12
Elijah’s mandala first bloomed on his coffin, as I started decorating it to take away the awfulness of the box and the finality of his absence. Now his rainbow flower adorns the back of The Gifted Gypsy and travels with us, sharing his brilliant spirit with whoever appreciates the colours and pattern.
A mandala is a circle of colours and patterns that symbolises spiritual precepts and holds ritual significance. Although I created Elijah’s flower without any deliberate thought of creating a mandala, it was part of the ritual of preparing his body for burial. The simple shape of repeating petals in a spectrum of colours is a good example of a mandala.
Decorating the bus with Elijah’s mandala is one way to commemorate his short life beyond the plaque that will soon mark his grave. This artwork, this flower, this mandala did not exist before Elijah’s death, and so in a real sense it represents his eternal spirit that is still with us.
Today when I first saw the artwork on the back of the bus, I was overwhelmed with waves of grief from Elijah’s loss. This sadness weighed heavily on me for hours while I waited for the work to be completed. However, as I drove home from the workshop, a rainbow appeared briefly in the sky beside the road, encouraging me particularly as I create a beautiful new home for our life as a smaller travelling family.
Last month I asked for suggestions for our bumper slogan. Thank you to everyone who contributed. I chose to use the words:
Be the change you wish to see in your children.
Soon I’ll have bumper stickers with this slogan to share with everyone, and Elijah’s mandala will also appear on them. In this way, his unique presence will travel farther than The Gifted Gypsy will take us, and it will spark a gentle revolution that will change the world.