Dancing in the Dark

Golden sunlight pierces a rift
In draperies drawn closed,
Warm photons passing through floating motes,
To land upon a fallen streamer lying
Coiled in a graveyard of listless balloons.

For a brief moment the hovering dust
Swirls and eddies
As a figure slowly sways through the light,
Stocking feet shuffling
Back and forth,
Back and forth.

Eyes closed in reverie,
Softly humming,
Moving in time,
Her graying hair shifting loosely
Around thin shoulders,
As she sways
Back and forth,
Back and forth.

Arms opening wide
As if in expectant embrace,
She slowly twirls
Out of the light
And resumes her swaying
Back and forth,
Back and forth.

The balloons scuttle heavily out of her path,
Carried on disturbed air.
Streamers whisper as they form new entanglements
On the wooden floor,
And as she makes her latest pass,
All becomes quiet again
As she continues
Dancing in the dark.

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Multnomah Falls

Multnomah Falls, Oregon

I am heartbroken, along with much of Oregon. A group of young people were hiking in an area to the east of Multnomah Falls, and apparently one of them thought it would be funny to throw a smoke bomb from a trail down into a ravine. Fireworks. Into the dry forest. In August. Now this whole area is a raging inferno, zero percent contained.

The earth is resilient. It will recover, but it will never be the same in my lifetime. I am grateful for the many times we braved the crowds and headed to this beautiful, popular location, most recently after the ice storm, when it was the coldest cold I’ve ever experienced, and again last May when I took my car to Portland to be serviced. That last time was a spontaneous decision to drive over after my appointment just to take a few pictures and drink in the forest beauty before heading home. It may have been the last time I will ever see it like this.

Sometimes it only takes one person to ruin it for everyone. Treasure that which you hold dear.