M and I drove about an hour southwest of Aberdeen this morning so that I could lay a stone on Cairn O’ Mount, at the recommendation of a dear friend. We and the kiddos wound our way down out of Aberdeen and up into the mountains where snow still sat in nearly pristine piles on the roadside. Sheep covered the hills and Queen Victoria’s face appeared on a sign or two.

With the help of two local sheep farmers, we made our way high into the hills where snow covered everything. The views were amazing with dark clouds rolling over the hills and sun lighting up the snow.

At the highest point, we pulled over into the “car park” (i.e. a wider part of the road) and laid in the first steps in the nearly 12″ of snow. No one had been there since the snow fell, and somehow that felt right. . .

In my pocket, I carried a small stone. I helped little J up the side of the cairn and quietly laid my stone on the mountain. The tears pricked, but with a three-year-old in hand, it was crucial to keep composed so as not to let him rocket down the rock face. . .

The one place Mom had always wanted to go was Scotland. In fact, it’s the only location I ever heard her mention wanting to visit. So it was absolutely fitting to be in this place (as my friend said, “everything that is Scotland in one panorama”) for her.

My tiny stone sits as a last monument to Mom and her dreams. It’s amongst the thousands of other rocks, each a testament to a life. Each precious.

Cairn O' Mount