Kissing Meadow

A year ago, I decided to establish a living will. I didn’t want to create an estate plan or specify what people should do if I were diagnosed with a terminal condition. I just wanted to make sure my ashes are scattered in Kissing Meadow, located along the John Muir Mountain Bike Trail in the Southern Kettle Moraine Forest, about an hour’s drive from my home in Milwaukee. It’s my favorite trail to ride, and when I ride it, I always stop to sit on the bench on the edge of the meadow. Hawks and turkey vultures are always circling. In the summer months, purple and yellow wildflowers fill the rolling field with color and scent. I like the idea of my body being part of this place. I like the idea of Sue, or Kait or Evan visiting the meadow, to sit on the bench that is inscribed: In memory of all the trails we walk together. It also makes sense that my ashes are scattered near this trail since most of my bike-related near-death experiences have happened there. I’m a better rider now and don’t go over the bars nearly as often as I used to. Still, it makes sense to scatter ashes at that place where you recognize the frailty of life. It also makes sense to scatter ashes at that place where one feels most alive.

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The Paragon in the meadow.
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