cairn noun \ˈkern\ – a heap of stones set up as a landmark, monument or tombstone
A few years ago, I had the opportunity to share my story on Mother’s Day at a community memorial service for women who’ve had miscarriages and stillborn babies.
While preparing my talk, I remembered a hike my husband and I took on Pike’s Peak. Not being from the area, we didn’t understand the afternoon storms on the mountains, and didn’t book it fast enough to the summit. A hailstorm hit us near the end and visibility was very low. We were past the treeline in the barren area at the top of the mountain. Our path was very difficult to see. Piles of stone called cairn marked our way.
This story was the perfect illustration for my walk through infertility and miscarriage. The families at the service that day built a cairn to mark our paths through barren land and memorialize the children we’d carried only in our wombs and hearts.
Several times I’ve noticed cairns along the spring-fed creeks throughout Austin. Each time I am suddenly flooded with these powerful memories. My heart is calmed and I feel as though my way is clear.