…can be captured in words.
As I wound my way up Tioga Pass toward Tuolomne Meadows, the landscape enticed me to stop the car and hike down a slope to a mountain lake. The day was crisp and fair. I set my phone on the app for meditation chimes, sat still for ten minutes, and witnessed the following–sunlight in needle shafts that shot straight up from the riffling water; sunlight in lines that veered off at angles; sunlight as glitters of tiny spired tents; sunlight as dancing stars–all in endless motion. There seemed no greater happiness possible than being a witness to all this.
Do you like to read about landscape? If so, Place Last Seen, by Charlotte McGuinn Freeman, is for you. “Place Last Seen” refers to exactly that–the spot where a Down’s Syndrome child disappeared from a panorama at least as spectacular as the one where I sat that day. The book is about the detailed efforts to find that child. It is a story of family and disability and marriage and grandmothering and community in the face of impending tragedy. But above all, it is a loving description of that vast landscape, so seductive, so indifferent, which sustains us, yes, but can easily be our downfall as well.
My cousin looked for Place Last Seen on her Nook and it wasn’t available, so here are the links to the Amazon Kindle version (2011), and the Amazon hard-copy site. Plus, Charlotte Freeman has an attractive and readable blog about her farm in Montana. But the main thing is to read the book. Well worth the effort.