Nine days after our beautiful river valley was contaminated with jet fuel, our community is staying strong and supporting one another. There is much to do, with volunteering to help clean-up, putting up signs, providing water for those families who are going without, and even lending a shoulder for a little comfort. Sometimes, a disaster has a way of bringing a community together, making them stronger. Never before, in the fourteen years I've lived here, have I felt so certain that I belong right here. These are good people.
While some birds are returning, we have yet to hear our nightly chorus of coyotes who live across the meadow. There are signs warning the public to stay out of the river and to not use it for drinking, swimming, bathing, or flushing. And of course, there are the unsettling signs of a helicopter parked on the public school grounds and metres and metres of bright orange booms to collect the contamination. But soon enough, these surreal intrusions on our once pristine river will become commonplace.
In the meantime, my family needed a little escape from the intensity. Up and up and up a logging road we drove to the mountain tops. We hiked in to a little lake, and the tranquility of the surroundings brought such peace and calm to my soul.
The trail in was the perfect length for a 5 year old's first real hike. Sunshine was so proud of herself, despite her tired legs...but at the end she said she wants to do this again! The lake itself is small and a steep, scree slide forms one side of it. There were only a few small fish to be caught, and my husband caught them all while I just cast out a few for fun, remembering how much I loved fishing when I was a kid...before I became vegetarian and then hard-core vegan. Now, full circle, fishing is a big part of my family's life ~ go figure.
And on the way down the mountain, Forrest and Papa rode their bikes...