The village nestled against the backdrop of the majestic mountains was breathtakingly beautiful. Picturesque locales, lush greenery, and peaks cloaked with mist. Raina felt as if she had walked into a painting. Everything about this place was magical.
“No wonder Grandpa loved to visit here often.”
She felt a pang. Grandpa, a man full of life, was now reduced to ashes in an urn. She had come here to fulfil his last wish.
Raina met the village elder, Dheeman.
“Before Grandpa died, he shared this map.”
She pointed to a cross drawn on it. Cairn Point.
“He said that there was treasure there. I need to locate it. After that, I will immerse his ashes in the stream there.”
Dheeman nodded. He led Raina up the rocky terrain.
“Proceed to Cairn Point with respect. There are hundreds of cairns there. It is a place of balance and harmony. An expression of gratitude to the mountain spirits. “
Raina noticed a construction board on their way up.
“Is a factory going to be built here?”
“Yes. The new factory will destroy our tranquillity. We already have jobs in the village and don’t want this, but the rich companies are too powerful!”
Raina nodded sympathetically.
“Here we are.”
Cairn Point was surreal. It had a mystical aura about it. Every few meters, stones rested on top of each other, in a perfect state of balance. The only sound disturbing their lonely penance, was the burbling of the stream. How could something so melancholy, be so beautiful?
“These cairns are older than time itself. Meditate in their midst. The mountain spirits will give you the answers you seek.”
With that, Dheeman left.
Raina squatted and closed her eyes.
“Come on, inner peace. I haven’t gotten all day.”
Her mind was cluttered with images. Her unfulfilling career. Her broken relationships. Her not visiting Grandpa until she had known he was dying. The images made her cringe.
Some strange magnetism did not permit her to give up. After a while, time seemed to freeze. It was just her and the cairns. The stream’s water swirled upwards around her. She felt a thousand petals unfurl. A bright burst of energy coursed through her veins. She heard a slow hum- the song of the spirits!
She opened her eyes gently. Realization dawned. There was no buried treasure. This treasure was right here, in front of her eyes. Grandpa was asking her to protect Cairn Point.
Two weeks later
Raina appealed to The Archaeological Society, which then inspected Cairn Point. Some of the cairns were more than a thousand years old. The place was granted heritage site status. The factory couldn’t be set up. The board at the construction site was taken down. Raina smiled, and Dheeman expressed gratitude.
Raina emptied the contents of the urn into the stream. She watched as the ashes mixed with the water, forming a meandering black current.
“Rest Well, Grandpa.”
She walked away, a different person.
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