Thursday, May 31, 2012


Yesterday I ran up to the top of a mountain to spread my friend Steve's, ashes. This had always been his wish. They have been in a spare room facing the sea for quite awhile......I thought he'd like the view. Anyway I decided it was time for him to be let loose in the hills and valleys. As I parked the car I took some time to play his favourite music, at full blast (as he would have done) and scattered a few ashes there. I shed a few tears, danced  and smiled at the memories of all the fun we'd had over the years.
      Then I took him on a fearsome climb to the top of 'the Spike', as he called it. We had done this route many, many years ago and at the time I had said to him, 'How long do you think this will take?'........'About 4 hours', came his nonchalant reply.
  He knew nothing about hiking or running and so when we returned he asked how long we had been. I looked at my watch, astonished, it was 3 hours, 59 minutes and 25 seconds........'You're crap at this', I said......and we both fell about laughing.

    As I neared the top the sun began to set over the mountains, it was spectacularly beautiful. I launched his ashes into the air and the breeze caught them and carried them away.....and although it was very emotional I felt a sense of calm.
    Again I remembered someone saying to him that you need a permit to do that up there. His response as ever was to laugh at the ridiculousness of such a thing and replied, whilst looking straight at me,'Not only will Phil do it, he'll do it without a permit........and what's more if he gets a permit I'll never forgive him'......and after more laughter he continued, 'How is anyone going to know the difference between my ashes and the rest of the bloody mountain?'
      Steve never  knew what rules were and certainly never stuck to any. His view of life was incredibly simple, he had no limitations or boundaries. This philosophy could get him into some hilarious and  remarkable situations, mostly good but occasionally, not so good; no matter, his excuse was always the same..........'Never think, just do it, you're a long time dead Phil'.
    As I stood there many thoughts went through my head, I don't think I have ever been more acutely aware of the phrase, 'ashes to ashes, dust to dust', as I was at that moment. Steve always loved to wander off, and as the dust swirled in the wind above the canyon below I smiled and said, 'Now and for the rest of eternity, you can go wherever you want and whenever you want......'. The thought appealed to me as I know it would have to him and just before I began the long run back down I thanked him for all the laughs we'd had together. Steve's only motive in life was to have fun and for all of those who knew him, we have been blessed in that he'd shared it with us.