Yesterday was Dhuni day. The day had been hot but some time in the afternoon there was a sprinkle of rain and the ground was not as dusty as it is in the heat of summer. An early Arti was followed by people going down the Hill to the Dhuni site where the Dhuni is lit on every 12th of the month.
Meherabad is really quiet in the summer months. No pilgrims at the hostel or MPR, very few residents and only a sprinkling of daily visitors. Now that Jalu has gone, there are none of the older ones living anywhere on the Hill or at Lower Meherabad. I was thinking of the early days when it used to be full of the presence of Baba's close ones - Keikobad Dastur, Gulu, Jalu and Mansari lived on the Hill while Padri, Sidhuji and his wife and Mohammed the Mast lived below. Later on Dadi Kerawala and his mother Banumasi, Jimmy and Roda Mistry moved to Lower Meherabad, early residents moved there and even in summer there was always some activity. It is so quiet now.
There must have been around 45 people at the Dhuni. A short line, and my turn came at almost breakneck speed. As I threw in the sticks I remembered friends who couldn't be there and asked Him to take care of all. The Dhuni is the fire that burns away your attachments, for me anyway. Usually I throw in a stick and ask Baba to take what He wants, but this time I threw in a stick and offered Baba my attachment to my parents' health and asked Him to do as He sees best. It is difficult seeing your parents going towards the ultimate journey in this life, the journey of the soul as it leaves the body behind. A friend of mine who had a difficult relationship with his father said to me when his dad died, "Mum died years ago, and since I didn't get on with my dad I didn't think I'd mind when he died, but I feel really alone now, an orphan." Mine are still here, both of them. But they are not well at all and I needed to ask for His help in dealing with them and their state of health. The help will come, I know this with as much certainty as I know that He will take care of everything in His time and His way.