I'm not sure when I first met Kristy. We were in a women's group that started in 2006/7 - it's a bit hazy - but our paths had crossed in the community before. She was always someone I wanted to know - that gentle and attentive presence of hers, the thoughtfulness and care with which she spoke - I wanted to be a part of her life, and her mine.
Fortunately our paths overlapped many times, despite my moving away to study for a while (terrible timing - missing Maeve and AOM!)... We met often around Findhorn, at Newbold, Transition Town Forres, and some very special times at Anam Càra. We shared our deep love of nature and of earth honouring practices.
When I started celebrating full moons and fire festival rituals in special nature places, Kristy was a regular attender and contributor. This was when we finally started getting to know each other properly, at least a little bit.
I'll never forget one time where I and others were running late for a ritual, and when we arrived at the fire place, Kristy had already gathered lots of dead gorse, birch and pine, broken it into short lengths for kindling and arranged it all neatly into four tidy piles according to thickness! I'm still sure was one of the most beautiful sights I've ever seen!
She was certainly one of the most beautiful humans I've ever known, or probably ever will know, inside and out. She was wise, kind, generous, honest, loving to her core.
I will always remember her standing on the rocks, shining in the sun, before diving so gracefully into the river Findhorn's peaty waters. Otter indeed! Powerful and graceful Swan. Golden Kristy 💙
She deeply understood how hard the lockdowns were for a single parent and only child dyad, and she wanted to help. She took my boy on nature walks so that I could concentrate on writing my essays. She taught him how to light a fire with flint and steel, and he came home from his Kristy adventures with eyes shining and excited stories to tell.
She had fires with us in the snowy woods, so that we wouldn't feel so alone.
Kristy deeply understood the fundamental importance of community, of village, of connection, solidarity, mutuality and support. She lived her life embodying this, and wove us all a bit closer together in her own ways.
She came with me to Maeve's grave on the anniversary of Maeve's death for the last two years in a row. I remember how shy I felt about it, the first time I asked her if she wanted to come... She was so close to Maeve, so woven into Maeve's life, whereas I had barely even met Maeve during her life here... Why would she want to come with a relative stranger like me?
But she did want to - miracle! I felt so lucky and grateful to have this special time with her, and we made beautiful ritual together.
On these long drives to Cannich, we talked most deeply of all. These were the times where I was privileged to see some - maybe just a tiny few - of the parts of Kristy that she shares only with her closest friends. (I was never that, though I would have loved to have been.)
These were the times where we talked most about our longing for community, and why it is so hard to create webs of connectedness that last, that live and grow and thrive.
We talked a lot about Maeve's skill in weaving community, and how we might possibly continue that legacy... We had many more questions than answers!
And her sense of humour! Her playfulness, irreverence, earthy, grounded realness... I wish I had more stories to tell of that sìde of her. (Others do, and I trust they will. We need all the stories!)
When so many of us gathered in the barn at Marcasssie to begin to honour her life and death, one of the things I felt we were doing was reweaving some threads of connectedness that have been strained, frayed or broken by the immense challenges of recent years. I don't think I realised, until I saw that barn packed with all of us, how much she was really a creator of community already.
I know, because she told me so many times, that one of her biggest wishes in life was for us all to be more connected, to care for each other more, help each other out more, as in all the practical ways that she did. And for Kristy, that "us all" completely included all the other-than-human beings with whom we share this incredible earth.
She was, and is, SO loved by so many people, and no wonder. Kristy was extraordinary. A shining example of how to be a good person through and through and through.
I wish I could have known her better. I wish we all had so much more time with her. I wish that I may be inspired by her life and her being, and that my having known her makes me a better human, a better builder/member of community, a better friend, a better lover of this beautiful land.
So many more tears to cry, for weeks and months and years to come. Your loss is devastating to all us left behind.
Heron fly you home 💜