Day 6

From Kat McNally:

Reverb15 Day 6: ancestral healing (a special guest post from Cindy Mearns)

Today’s prompt and image come from Cindy Mearns. In the new year, Cindy will be helping me to map out my ancestry… and shine light on the gifts and wounds I carry and transmit through the next generation. I am thrilled to be sharing Cindy’s considerable gifts with the Reverb15 community.

Cindy writes:

As each year progresses, we unknowingly gather many thoughts, beliefs, and patterns to us. In fact, what we are carrying may have been passed down to us from previous generations.

Looking at the thoughts and patterns that may be holding you back from living the life you want, trace back through the generations of your family and see if your beliefs originated generations ago.

In 2016, how can you bring healing to these patterns of thought that are holding you back?


IMG_3339I hold my maternal grandparents in the highest esteem.  Everything that I am, have been comes from them through their DNA, through the stories my mother tells me.  I feel them in my very marrow.  That is not to say, I don’t feel my paternal heritage.  I just don’t feel them as strong.  My father have never told me any stories.

My grandfather was a man of letters, a stern schoolmaster.  He was revered, respected and loved as well.  He passed on the magic of words to me.  I love the power and beauty of them, how you can paint pictures and stir up emotions with them.  They have the ability to hurt and heal.  I have been hurt by other people’s words, but I have saved my life with mine.  I am careful with my words.  I respect what they can do.

My grandmother was a very courageous woman.  She survived Mao Tse Tung’s regime. Many things are done in the name of/for the cause when a country is in a revolution as China was.  My grandparents were victims of such.  My grandfather escaped with his life but in his place my grandmother was jailed.  Her strength and faith enabled her to live. She believed that the heavens would save her and they did.  She gave me her mettle.

I feel their blood and spirits in me.  I feel them as I am sitting here, tap, tapping out my words.  The Chinese worship their ancestors.  We walk their mountains every year. It is called such because traditionally graves were in the mountains.  We take food, burn incense and paper money, bow and pour libation for them.  To you, my grandparents. Rest in heavenly peace and look down/after me once in awhile.


The smallest thing can make me so happy sometimes – like seeing the tiny orange blossoms of my Clivia peeping through the leaves, the deep red of my peonies and the rose in all of its pink glory.

Then there’s the rain today, so soft and gentle.  We have waited long for it this year.  I’m quenching my thirst and nourishing my body along with the earth.

We ‘walked my grandparents’ mountain’ today, not pouring our usual libation and offering of food.  We still honoured them with our bows and flowers.  Sometimes you have to be flexible with the rituals because of life’s circumstances.  The important things are not etched in stone.  They reside in your heart.

We could not all be there today either but it is not the biggest deal.  It is how life is.




I’m hearing the melody of the Rolling Stones’ As Tears Go By.  I don’t know why.  Songs come to me much as words do – from out of the blue.  I’m singing the first line, It is the evening of the day.  And it is the evening of the day but I’m not shedding tears.

IMG_1112It was another one of those days again when the sun and clouds battled to be seen.  There was no rain.  My mother had been waiting for such a day when the family could get together and pay respect to my paternal grandparents at the cemetery.  We called it walking the mountain.  In the old country the burials were in the mountains.  Our village was called Mountain Top.


IMG_1486We bring food, light incense and burn paper money for my grandparents.  We bow and pour libation on their graves.  After we all have paid our respect, we have lunch.  Then we pack up and go home to come again next year.  It’s harder to get everyone together, especially now the kids are adults.  Some are in other cities for school or jobs.  We do the best we can.  I value honouring and remembering our ancestors.  It is where we came from.  I hope the young people do, too.

Now it is the evening of the day.  I am tapping out my words and thoughts across the screen.  I am feeling more mellow in the darkness of the night, even though the quiet is pierced by the sound of sirens of an ambulance and police car(s).  Music from next door drifts through the open window.  It is hard to find perfect silence.  Maybe it is only possible in my mind.