Sunday, April 06, 2014

Gentle Beauty and Yellow Ribbons

Cicero Bridge with yellow ribbons, a few miles downstream from the Oso land slide disaster

I am lucky enough to have a wonderful weekend getaway on the North Fork of the Stillaguamish River, not too far downstream from the site of the horrific mud slide at Oso, Washington.  The devastation has been well documented in the press and television news media, and I won't rehash the crushingly sad facts here.  I do want to say a little about the effect of this disaster on the town of Arlington.  I shop in Arlington for my weekend groceries and have lunch on Saturdays at the Blue Bird Cafe.  I frequent the Quilt Shoppe and look forward to my chats with the owner.  I buy salt at the Co-Op for my water system and I am always in the hardware store for something.  I've seen some of the victims of the slide around town, not that I knew any of them, but I do recognize some faces in the roll call of the dead.  These missing people have left an aching hole in the heart of the community here.  Arlington is hurting.  Oso is hurting.  Darrington is hurting.  The whole of the Stillaguamish Valley is hurting.  We are all, those who were born here and have lived here their whole lives and those of us who are sometimes residents, we are hurting.  What happened is beyond my understanding.  I just know it is as bad as it gets.
The people who lost everything need help.  Really need help.  

There is so much need.  If you are looking for somewhere to offer help, to donate, may I suggest the Cascade Hospital Foundation Disaster Fund?  100% of the donations will go towards assistance of those most in need.  You can check them out here and make up your own mind.  You could, of course, instead make a donation to United Way or the American Red Cross.  At the very least, please hold these people gently in  your hearts and send them strength and care.

As I wandered around the grounds at the cabin this weekend I was struck by the soft, quiet beauty of early spring in the foothills.  My cherry tree, the lovely cherry tree above, is blooming for the first time.  I never understood why it didn't bloom in years past, but as it seemed healthy, I just let it be.  And now, when my heart is hurting for all the victims, it bursts into beautiful bloom, as if to offer what is has to give.

It is a beautiful sight.  It filled me up with the scent of spring and hope for brighter, happier seasons.

The drops of morning rain really did look like diamonds on my beauty berry shrub.  They glistened and twinkled in the breeze.

The daffodils were a riot of yellow under the maple in the drive.  The sun shone.  The air was washed clean by the rain overnight---but the helicopters go back and forth from the slide site, ferrying those who come to help and those who are found, too late, in the mud.

Please, if you can help, do so.  


Judy Wise said...

Beautiful post, Shelley. The bittersweet nature of life is reflected in your carefully chosen words. We are here to help each other. xo

john said...

Well said, Michele.

Unknown said...

Oh my goodness....I know of every place you wrote about... the Blue Bird Cafe, the Co-Op, the hardware store! I lived in Marysville for nearly 30 years...makes me a little lonesome for that beautiful area!