I am proud of my brother Bruce. He’s had a tough time recently, one of those legendary years of loss when too much falls away, until you wonder what the hell is gonna be left.
Once small choice at a time he rebuilt a life. He loves the country, so he scoured Craigs List until he found an affordable cottage with sheep on the front side and acres of doug fir in the back. He needed companionship and missed Alaska, so he welcomed an Alaskan Malamute into his family. He planted bulbs (the ultimate act of faith and investment in my mind). He wanted to stay in touch with his contacts at the Forest Service, so he took a work detail cleaning a fire lookout at Waldo Mountain. Every time he writes about his days up there, he exudes such good health, it’s a surprise to remember what a dark time he’s come through.
I didn’t grok some of his choices as they came down. I’m all, who plants lilies on a farm where they can be attacked by sheep, dogs, and errant tractors? But then, I just wouldn’t plant lilies. My skepticism crumbles before the charm of his flower-ringed home; it would make Mother Goose proud.
More difficult times will roll past, as they do for all of us. Right now, I’m in awe of his determination. I want to hug his instincts. And I’ve got to follow his path back to the garden.
Here is a slide show he put together of his shots from Waldo Mountain — wilderness, work, and one wild lily.