Monday, March 11, 2013

A Grain of Sand in a Great Land

What a month. The last three weeks have been brutally emotional & intense. At the same time, it puts other tragedies into perspective. There are so many people in the world that have struggles that must be so overwhelming and seemingly insurmountable in comparison.
It started with a night of dancing at the infamous P Bar in Haines. Dancing saved our lives, literally. At 2:30 in the morning I got a phone call from Sylvia that our Cabin was on fire. I didn’t believe her at first. When we got there a charred skeleton remained, nothing more. I had two bicycles on the porch that were completely incinerated. Nothing but the disc brakes and chain links were left. I couldn’t really comprehend the fiscal blow my life had just taken.

The warmth and love the community extended was unbelievable. The following day Elly and I stopped by the Shtumpa house. Jess and Meredith routed through their closets and came up with a pile of clothes for us. Robert ran into his room and emerged with a beautiful scarf and sweatpants. Eric re-heated a few slices of homemade pizza and we received big hugs from everyone. As we left the house and slid into the seats of my car (which thank goodness was not parked next to the cabin) I looked at Elly, “There is a different caliber of people here.” “OH Yeah…” she responded in agreement. The following days the love poured in. Boxes of clothes showed up, gift certificates to the grocery store, hugs, tooth brushes, cards. Not that I think my community of people in Montana wouldn’t have been supportive, but my parents are there, there is always someone to fall back on, somewhere to go. Life is a lot more difficult up here, and everyone knows it. With out the support of the community, life here can be brutally rough when shit goes down. Everyone has been extremely supportive. I cannot sufficiently express my gratitude.
Two weeks and 12 hours later we lost a beloved friend and guide in the mountains.

Cab; exceptional guide, extraordinary person. He always made me laugh and gave the best hugs. He will live on forever in our memories.
There is really not much more to be said. It’s been a very sad week. I’ve given and received a lot of hugs. I’d like to thank those of you who have extended your comforting words and friendship. It means a lot.

The mountains are more powerful than we are capable of comprehending. Our only chance of safely playing in them is to strive to learn their language, and listen keenly, at all times. In order to coexist in such a delicate environment we must always be open to feeling energy and responding according to our instincts, particularly the instincts that cannot be logically deduced or formed into thoughts. That is what makes mountain people.
We are but a grain of sand. And if you hold on too tight it will slip through your hand.
So now I get to start fresh, living with extra appreciation and awareness. Moving forward with clarity.
Quote of the day: “There’s not much more to life than bacon and raspberries.” Or at least that’s what my dad said this afternoon. He gives the best advice.