Yesterday was a day of strange magic –
our day trip planned,
we headed south, but then directions led us awry –
we lost time.
Later we made a quick stop at the last store on the road.
Like the middle of nowhere, a strange feeling there –
I shoved my wallet in my right pocket,
and my phone in my left. I used the facilities, walked back to the car, and
one pocket was empty. No phone.
Just gone, as if by
I made a big effort to let go-
(no, I said to myself, it’s NOT my identity, not my tether to the world. There are
more substantial tethers: wonder, the veins of green leaves, pounding waterfalls).
Driving south on the winding mountain road, we notice
Search and Rescue trucks
parked on the shoulder.
We don’t see what happens a few hours later: her
brought down the
old desolate, she called herself.
Her last hike:
was there wonder, and
magic in it?
The turquoise Ohanapecosh River churned
a mile or so south of her last steps, it
thundered over ancient rocks, carving circles in them.
Ancient cedars and firs towered there – burled with rings of
wonder, bark woven, tiny blue flowers at their feet.
And bright pink flowers bobbed in the breeze on a wall of rock
into the water, the frothy
turquoise Ohanapecosh, its power
hemmed by rocks that I scrambled across quickly, oblivious to
her body’s slow descent
a mile or so away. I pranced joyfully on the rocks, too close to the edge –
as I always do.
And her body was found and brought down
to the waiting vehicles we passed
on our way to see tree giants and foaming rivers.
Our worlds reflect each other like Indra’s net –
jewels that mirror, worlds that almost touch, slender threads…
Her words perch on my Flickr page,
written on the day she left for
this last hike. She wrote,
“You captured the vastness…”
under my photo of a field and fencepost.
magic and yes,
she died, as they are saying today, doing-what-she-loved
on the mountain where
we wandered yesterday,
A beautifully photographed and written post. And, a fine tribute. Would that we should all die following our passions.
George, I’m not surprised you would say that. It makes you think, doesn’t it? But now they’re saying she dies of hypothermia, and possibly secondary to a hear condition, and that’s not a pretty picture. But I don’t know. She was very, very experienced at 70 yrs old. She knew what she was doing. She walked ahead of her partner and didn’t come back. The rest is still half mystery…
Lynn, this is such a beautiful homage to lives lived fully.
Thank you Anne – I know you understand and I’m always glad to hear from you…:-) be well!
Love living in the backyard of the Olympics in Sequim, WA. I am now following your blog. Melody Donkey Whisperer Farm, Sequim, WA
Oh, the lavender farms – and donkeys! – of Sequim! I’ll have to look you up next time I’m over there. Thank you so much, and thanks for commenting.
The splendid pictures beautifully complement the poignant content of the text.
Thank you for your generous comment, Louis. I appreciate it!
Kind of spooky, but not in a bad way. Such a great tribute.
Yes exactly. It was very strange, the whole day. SO I had to write about it.
A beautiful tribute to Karen Sykes. Thank you, Lyn.
Thanks, Geeks. The more I learn about her, the more I am sorry I didn’t meet her. A lost opportunity, but that’s life.
Magnificent image and beautiful tribute to you dear friend. How very sad.
Thank you – she wasn’t really a friend, but someone I wish I had met – our interests and passions are similar. I look at her Flickr page and some of the photos look so much like photos I’ve taken – her last post was about a hike in a place I went to recently, etc.
Sorry, that should have said “images” not image.
Agree with all the comments above: words/pictures convey a beautiful homage.
This is such a poignant post, rich in visual and also just a love for life. The 4th photo reminds me so much of hiking and just being washed up with all the beauty around ~ which makes this area a great place to live. Well done.
There is a sadness, of course, in our world losing someone of her caliber, but at least it was in that manner. Thank you for the tribute…your beautiful words.
to be in this world but not of this world
A beautiful tribute, Lynn. Lovely photos too.