Monday, May 9, 2011
Springtime in the PNW
It's been a strange couple of days. I learned that another skydiving friend of mine in Colorado died last weekend from a swoop gone bad. I was not as close to him as I was to Emily, but they were quite close to each other, and I had known him for more than a decade. Last summer, these two beautiful people were on a demo team together, and now they are both gone, neither one of them ever having the chance to have children, get old, or learn from their mistakes.
String Cheese Incident band. You can see how thrilled they were, and everything went perfectly. But now...
For people who don't know much about skydiving, a swoop is a completely different aspect of the sport. It concentrates on building incredible speed under a small, high-performance canopy and timing it so you are able to do some pretty amazing things as you land. But it is without doubt more dangerous and more controversial than most everything else about our sport. While these two learned to maneuver smaller and smaller canopies, those of us who are interested in the sport for the fun of freefall and the delight at flying around a nice big docile canopy, well, we go the opposite direction. My new canopy is larger than my last one, and it treats me well if I treat it well.
So this event gave my Mother's Day a much different feeling than it would otherwise have had. It reminded me of the painful loss of Emily as much as sadness that yet another of my friends has died. I spent yesterday afternoon at the gym, and as I swam a half mile to gain a meditative state, it helped me use up the sadness in exercise. Today and tomorrow are supposed to be dry and partly sunny, which will also help me deal with it by getting out and enjoying the sunshine.
I also noticed that the lilacs are finally beginning to bloom, a full month later than they did last spring. They were gone by the end of April, and now in mid-May they are just beginning to open up and send their fragrance into the air. I just now went outside to take a few pictures so you can see what they look like today. They don't last long, but this particular picture reminds me of the Walt Whitman poem entitled When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom'd, an elegy he wrote to Abraham Lincoln not long after he was killed.
I Am, produced by Tom Shadyac. It is supposed to be an inspirational film, and after watching the trailer I think maybe it will be just the thing for this rather somber springtime day.
Life comes in all colors and shades, doesn't it? I decide to be happy today and to feel the blessings surrounding me, and I hope you do, too.