A few weeks after my mother died,
I dreamed that she was waiting for me
in a ravine of spring-green larches.
There was no worry in her eyes, and
she sat there with her knees drawn up,
content to be in the filtered sunlight.
Funny, because she never lived
among larch trees—my mom grew up
on an orange grove and raised us
in the Douglas fir. I do not live
among them either, apart from my rare
visits to the North Cascades. But when
I’m here, as now I am, sitting barefoot
on Cutthroat Pass among amber larches
bathing every bowl and basin,
I have a sense that she’s okay,
and that I am too, born to witness what
I can within this green and golden world
which still persists, with or without us—
but mostly with us, I’ve come to believe.
Things and people pass away,
but that’s when they become themselves.
There’s a new heaven, a new earth,
around and about us—and not much
different from the better parts of the old.
We don’t live there very often,
but when we do, eternity
ignites in a moment, light in the larches
that shines. And shines.
—Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest