I'm grateful to my friend Sarah at Studio Sadie for introducing me to the idea of the nature mandala. In the kind of synchronicity that abounds when I pay attention, this idea entered my awareness near the four-year anniversary of my Dad's death. So I decided to try making a nature mandala (with the help of other odds-and-ends like bottle caps, a life saver and piano tuning pegs) in his honor. The process is, let me say, a very meaningful healing practice.
As I learned in an article at Healing Icons, there's no wrong way to create a nature mandala. It's just a beautiful process of slowing down and feeling into what wants to be expressed. After making the mandala and sitting with it a little while, I wrote a letter from my Dad to me. It was full of love and reminiscences and many of the things I wish had been spoken but never were. It's, of course, completely made up by me, but it expresses what I want my children to know - how absolutely precious they are to me and how deeply sorry I am for the times I have been imperfect in my love for them. I imagine most parents feel this way and I imagine that, even though my Dad wasn't the type of person who spoke about these feelings, he probably felt this way, too.