Saturday, October 3, 2009

National Park reprise

I don't know if anyone caught any of  the 6-segment Ken Burns National Park special that ran on public television this past week (Ch 13 here in NY metro area).  To be honest, you would probably have to be a pretty die-hard  fan of the National Park system as I am to want to delve into this much of the politics and history of the Parks.  But with its scenes (among others) of Bryce, Zion, Arches, Grand Canyon and Petrified Forest, the show brought such a flood of memories of our family visit to these western National Parks  in Aug/Sept 2001 when Laura was almost 7.  Emotions too: happy that she got to see and experience much of America's "Empire of Grandeur" in her short life but sadness that there would be no more trips there for her.  Mixed in, the thought that the lives of many children with cancer are cut so very short that they never have any chance at all to see such wonder.  After the show one night, I summoned up the courage to sit at Laura's desk among her  figurines, books and treasured belongings, still arranged as she had so neatly placed them, and opened up her National Park passport book.  Her gentle life force still seems to hum about the desk. In that strong field of emotion, I can only stay a while.
But I did look at the dated stamps of each park in her book like "Capitol Reef Nat'l Park Sept 2, 2001" and "Bryce Canyon Sept 3, 2001" etc and travel back in time, and for short while, we were together again, walking and skipping along pine-scented paths, pushing open doors into visitor centers, delighting in flipping the switch to the gas fireplace in our charming newly renovated cabin in Zion, driving through miles of ever unfolding splendid scenery, walking under arches and marvelling at vistas...

1 comment:

  1. OH, the places you have been, so special. Yes, I hope tonight it was the special memories. What a wonderful adventure out west, I hope we get to do that one day! God Bless, Love, Ellen