Tears of ash falling from the sky...

I have been silent this last few weeks. The last weeks have been filled with lots of feelings. In our small MTM community, we have been devastated by more loss. Another sweet boy has gained his wings, sending his sweet soul to run, play and eat ice cream on the Playground in Heaven. Another family whose heart has been broken by the loss of their beautiful boy. Their loss sends ripples through the community, each family feeling loss and sorrow of their own. Sadly, this is an experience that has happened over and over, so many children lost over the last thirteen years since Javad's diagnosis.

Two years after Javad's seizure, I struggled. I have talked about this more than once, but what I haven't talked about over and over, is the power and freedom I found in the woods. I began hiking again two years ago. After eighteen years of staying out of the woods, I strapped some boots on and was led to a beautiful trail called the Christmas Ornament Trail on Larch Mountain in the Columbia Gorge. I traipsed up with a group of people who loved and cared about me. People who loved and cared about Javad. People who knew my heart was broken and gave a lifeline to joy again. I have been on the trails, feeling the earth under my feet. I love to hike with others, but I also love hiking alone, much to my fathers chagrin. My favorite hike was Eagle Creek. It was the place that I found my footing alone, the place that I realized that although my body wasn't as strong as I wanted it to be, it was strong enough. I was strong enough. I was enough.

This week, the Columbia Gorge has literally gone up in flames. A group was hiking at Eagle Creek and threw firecrackers off a cliff to the dry lands below which ignited into flames. These flames took off, growing, spreading, now burning over 10,000 acres. Families are on alert, evacuations begun. The sky is weeping, mourning the loss of the woods, the beautiful greenery that lines the river. Tears of ash covering the ground, like light, fluffy drops falling from the sky.

I am overwhelmed with feelings of loss, loss of a beautiful child from our community, loss of the stretch of land that gave me hope that I could heal. My real tears have fallen this week over the loss of a place that made me feel whole. The tears of ash keep falling from the sky....one flake at a time, covering the earth, reflecting loss that is immeasurable, hearts being broken, one at a time....


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