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,