Saturday, January 08, 2011

Last Trip to Big Bend: Jack Boynton

It is almost 9:00 on Saturday a.m. The sun rose over the mountains just before 8:00 and now our bedroom is blasted with light. Granted, we did open the shades to see the sunrise. This is the first morning that one of us awoke before morning was well underway. There are two flies in the bedroom and they are an annoyance that will drive us down to breakfast very soon.
We were in Big Bend all day yesterday.
Took the Mule Ears Peak Trail, one that Earl and Jack Boynton used to take decades ago.
We hiked to a specific vantage point that overlooks what Earl calls a sacred space. We were there to deposit Jack under a cairn where the wind will overtake him. A long way from Houston and the April 2010 memorial service where Earl gave Jack's eulogy.
His remains were not much more than a juice can of gray ashes. Since Mom's death, I see that the things we do to commemorate a life and a death are all done by us, the living. We may be carrying out the wishes of the now dead, but the dead were living when decisions were made. Jack wanted to drift away in Big Bend and so he shall.
The day was filled with vistas and color and colossal beauty. Who cannot believe in a Divine Maker. Where did this world come from? Each mountain is covered with dried puffs of grass, cactus, rocks that make rainbows of colors.
The sky changes moment by moment and because it does the landscape changes moment by moment. The quiet is immense and comforting. We could hear only our feet on the path, stumbling over stones, through sand and gravel.
There is more to say about yesterday. But breakfast and that potato chorizo burrito and orange mug of strong coffee calls.

1 comment:

Kate said...

What a lovely post. Spreading ashes is sacred work. I hope someone will do that for me when my time comes. I have picked my special place.