Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Ashes At Rest

Dad died early last spring. He wanted his ashes buried up on Basin Butte. Four of us siblings with spouses and mom did as he requested yesterday. Above Stanley, which is above Sun Valley....the Sawtooth Mtns are pristine, the meadows lush, the rivers clear and the view astounding; spontaneous worship bursts out with deep thankfulness. The air is so pure, you feel light. I don't know what the elevation is, but it is high where the camp sight was. We drove up this track with the 4x4 rhino's to the very very top of the mountain. Ten miles straight up.

A hole was dug, two empty bottles of Jack Daniel's were symbolically filled with some of his ashes. Joe had a twelve year old bottle of 'special reserve' Crown Royal. We each had a shot over ice and chug -a- lugged it with a 'here, here'. I've not experienced much alcohol, as I don't like it much. Joe assured me it was smooth........it burned and warmed me to my tummy. I felt like my breath was girl dragon breath and could light a fire! Hhhhhhhhhaaaaaagh! Won't be indulging any time soon........

The view from the top of the mountain was stunning in every direction. Dad was the quintessential mountain man. He defined it and completely looked the picture. He would have been a pioneer scout in earlier days. He picked this spot because it represented the center of his personal stomping grounds around Stanley Basin. He intimately knew each mountain's name, the valleys, the rivers, the lakes, the roads, the animals and trees. He was happiest spending summers alone cutting lodge poles, cozy in his own wilderness camp. He had friends along the road at Smiley Creek, Beaver Creek.....long term friends who looked forward to seeing him each summer.

The guys all tried to outdo each other splitting wood rounds into quarters around the campfire last night, in memory of dad. Not one of them could do it with the grace, speed, accuracy and finesse of dad.

I wish he could have had familial relationships with us that mirrored his physical prowess.
I wish he could have shown me the love, care and attention he bestowed on his tools and summer friends.
I wish he would have delighted in our life, like he delighted in being out in nature.
I wish he knew me like he knew the woods.
I wish he had craved seeing and being with me, talking with me, like he did strangers.

Thank you dad, for the early days with happy memories, for life. I adore being outside because of you.

I wonder if you ever wished I had known you better, been more curious, craved being with you more? I love you anyways....... I hope you're enjoying the view.


Susan said...


Anonymous said...

This made me cry real tears for both you and your dad... Susan H.