Seeing Stars

beams of rising sunlight shining through the fronds of a Joshua tree surrounded by golden grass with a hill and pastel-colored sky in the background

October 18, 2020 | 7:30 a.m.  Out for an early hike. I can see my breath and need a jacket to ward off the chill as the sun peeks over the foothills and sets the world aglow. Sunrise is an hour passed, but dawn’s early light takes time to reach this canyon. Pausing to photograph the golden, back-lit grasses, I notice an odd shadow several feet away. Weaving my way through the prickly brush, the scene becomes clearer: “Oh, damn.” Breathing a mournful sigh, I kneel to honor the fallen, as Taps plays softly just for us, and tears flow. This is one of those inexplicable moments when a thousand thoughts flood your mind in a split-second, and there is nothing you can do to stop it. The way memories and questions and things you wish you had said and things you wish you still had time to do flash […]

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