It’s a year since our co-founder, Dorothy Maclean, passed on here in Findhorn at the age of 100. Her friend and colleague, Judy McAllister, who travelled and worked with Dorothy for many years, shares a tribute to this loving and joyful woman who shaped so much of what Findhorn is today.
A year ago today my good friend and mentor passed away, only two months after celebrating her 100th birthday. The day after she passed we were able to gather in the Universal Hall to meditate together and to bless her soul’s journey on its way. The day after that more Covid restrictions were put in place and we were left to grieve each in our own ways, unable to gather together. That probably suited her just fine as she had been adamant she did not want the ‘wake and funeral fuss’ as she put it.
Instead she left instructions that she was to be cremated immediately and her ashes used in very specific ways. She asked that after some time had passed a Canadian Red Maple tree be planted here at Findhorn and that we have a party to celebrate her life. It’s an odd twist that we seemed to have had the party first – just before she left us. Thus she was able to attend in physical form and bask in the love, laughter and appreciation of her beingness that flooded towards her during the week of her 100th birthday.
That week in early January had seen a whole series of events that celebrated the lady, her life, the gifts of her work and her presence. Birthday cakes were numerous (which tickled her no end as she had a bit of a sweet tooth), and several performances/events were organised in her honour, including a sharing in the Universal Hall. Hundreds of cards, and even more emails, poured in as the Findhorn community – local and global – paid their respects.
Her personal highlight was receiving her ‘telegram’ from the Queen, congratulating her on achieving this milestone. This was something she had been looking forward to for several years, a goal to be achieved, a moment to savour. Our postman kindly agreed to hand deliver it to her home rather than leave it in the General Office. I don’t think I have ever seen a face shine the way that hers did when he stepped into her sitting room to hand it over. For day afterwards anyone coming to the house was shown the card and conversation would revolve around the honour she felt to have received it.
There are many things I miss about the lady – her startling blue eyes that were invariably filled with love and laughter and no small dose of mischief; her delight in the simple joys of nature, whatever the season, be it the colour of a flower, the hum of a bee, the shape of a branch, the smell of gorse in bloom, or the crocus coming up between the paving stones of a path; her steadfast dedication to beaming love to the bees; her resolve to support all those seeking to contact their inner source. Our walks in the forest, at the beach or simply round the Park, were filled with observations of shape, colour, scent and sound. She never lost her delight in the natural world. Her humility and down-to-earthness made it easy for people to talk to with her. But woe betide them if they attempted to erect a pedestal underneath her. She would joke that it was too far to fall!
Her role as a founder of this community was a significant part of her life’s work. After leaving here back in 1972 she continued her inner exploration of the worlds of angels, devas, and more. She wrote, taught, and travelled the world to introduce others to those worlds for which she had become known. And always her turning was to God, to the inner wisdom source that had prompted her to explore those realms. She was in her late 80s when she stopped travelling and teaching. At 89 she picked up sticks and returned to Findhorn for her final years. Her legacy lives on, the work of co-creation with the intelligence of nature more relevant than ever. May we do justice to her legacy. Thank you Dorothy.