Mt. Tabor is the mountain where the Transfiguration is said to have taken place. This is the scripture reading we just heard on Sunday (Luke 9: 28-35). As you approach the mountain, it juts gently but firmly out of the land in the shape of a woman’s breast. This is not my image, but belongs to Jerome Murphy-O’ Connor, a Dominican geologist who used it to describe Mt. Tabor in his 1980 book, The Holy Land: An Oxford Archaeological Guide from Earliest Times to 1700. If Jerusalem is considered the naval of the world – a place of origin – then Mt. Tabor is considered the breast - a place of nourishment, where pilgrims are fed spiritual milk from mother earth.


It was on this mountaintop in 2010 where I was moved to scatter some of my brother’s ashes. I returned for the second time today to the ruins of the Crusader church to pray, to give thanks for Rob’s life and all that his death has taught me. I was quiet and imagined immersing myself in his essence. Just before I left, I asked, “Is there anything you want to tell me?” I heard only the word sister. I was indeed his only sister, the only one he called sister, the only one from whom I could hear the word sister. Now he’s gone, dead by his own hand in May of 2010. It was nice to be reminded today of the uniqueness of our relationship.

Today was a mixture of milk and ashes.