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Lions Roar : March 2013
SHAMBHALA SUN MARCH 2013 39 frightened. It’s natural to be afraid, but don’t be. The path has been traveled before and is safe on the other side. The ride’s rails from here to there are well worn and maintained. For all its thrill and terror, it is a safe ride. Those of us who are still standing in line, waiting, will turn away, for a while, when the park closes. I wish I could give Scott one more green day in the Yaak, up in the fortress of his making—a light south breeze up on Mt. Henry, with the green world resting below him. If I had ten or twenty thousand dollars or whatever it would cost, I’d rent a private jet and whisk him and his hospice provider and family out here for another look, another long summer day. How would that day differ from any of ours, the bundle we still hold, you and I, in our wealth and in the moment? Is not each and every day irreplaceable and valuable beyond compare or accounting? How often we forget. After he leaves us—and he is leaving us—we intend to push on without him for maybe another forty years or so. It is an old hope but I have pretty good faith that I will see him again, that we will be up on a mountain again, a mountain much like the ones he has worked so tirelessly to protect here below. Are we below? And can we fight in heaven? I used to hope not, but with Scott moving out ahead of us, I don’t think now that I’d mind it too much. What is our responsibility? What is our culpability, our com- plicity, in the lives of those around us, particularly those we love? In every first breath there is the template of destiny; the seed of all stories contains the preview of the end. Now I, who helped lead Scott, find myself behind him on the trail. Forty years behind, I hope, but following and tying up loose ends, helping finish what we started, and—who knows—maybe starting some new things. I believe the ground will be firm beneath him. I do not think there will be any more sinking. I think he has found the secure place that was made for him, a very long time ago. It gives me a chill to think that I helped make his path for him, even in some small way, and from here on out I know I will feel as if I am doing the work for two. You can’t shake a shadow, a secret sharer, like Scott. And who would want to? In a sense he is leaving, but in the more real sense he can never leave, will never leave. The sea can come in over the mountains and the town, but some things, surely, can never go away. I feel bad, feel guilty, for having told him about this place and bringing him here, but I’m glad he got to see it. Sometimes I wonder if there is Another who feels the same way about each of us. Surely we are not alone with this feeling. ♦ PHOTOBYLOWRYBASS Rock Candy Mountain