Sunday, August 21, 2011

Huckleberry Time

"Now many of those I loved and did not understand in my youth are dead. But I still reach out to them. Of course, now I’m too old to be much of a hiker. And now I usually go into the mountians alone, even though some friends think I shouldn’t. But when I am alone in the half-light of the canyon, all existence seems to fade to a being of my soul and memories, and the sounds of the wind in the pines and the call of distant birds. Eventually, all things merge into one, and a mountain is in it. The Mountain was left by the world’s great flood, and shelters bushes from the basement of time. On some of the bushes are timeless huckleberries. On some the berries are the words, and some of the words are theirs."
"I am haunted by huckleberries."

Pardon the River Runs Though It musings, but as I was in Emigration Canyon as evening approached one night this past week picking huckleberries I was reminded of the now famous lines at the end of the novel by Norman MacLean and couldn't help but reflect on the good times and the memories I had in days gone by with my parents and family picking huckleberries in the mountains. The berries were wonderful, but the memories of those days linger much longer and I cherish the times and the stories told of picking huckleberries in the mountains.

My brother, Reed, called the other morning and said: "Let's go pick huckleberries." My reply was: "I'll pick you up in an hour." We went together on Thursday and then again on Saturday. Each time we got at least two gallons each. That isn't bad for a couple of oldies with arthritic hands etc. At least for me. We enjoyed our time together and especially the chance to have some good discussions about the things that matter most in our lives.

Here we are after about eight hours on the mountain with the fruit of our labors.

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