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Today, I went up to the top of Jumbo mountain to scatter ashes;
half of my mom’s, half of my brother’s and all of my great aunt’s.

More than a dozen members of our family traipsed faithfully up the steep, rocky road to honor their final wishes. It was intense. One badly rolled ankle and a few serious high altitude headaches later, we are still standing. I am grateful.

Yesterday, I was asked by a dear friend to accompany him to view the remains of his property following the Cold Springs wildfire. Many memorable moments in my life were spent there.

Was it a coincidence that I was back in town to spread the ashes of dear family members when he asked me to go along with him to witness what remained?

I stood by his side. In every direction, all we could see were ashes of the scorched earth. I stood very quiet and very still; long enough for the moon to grow larger.

In the moonlight I saw it.  Standing alone, among the skeletons of the pines was a single wild currant bush. She was badly charred but not enough to kill her. I walked over and I broke off the tip of a branch. There was life in her. I waved my friend over and showed him. He needed to see what was still alive. I needed to show him.

I am grateful that I was here. I am grateful for what is still standing.