What form will this quest take when both my parents have gone? How will I look to the same trails that brought so much happiness into the lives of two people that I have loved so much. Will the trails fail me or will they keep my connection going?
If these past couple of years are anything to go by, I believe it will be the latter. Many times since he died, my Dad traveled with me on these trails. He would mostly appear as a hawk and guide my path or keep me company. I have found myself talking to them both and wishing that they could see or feel the joy of the moment the way I have done. And perhaps this is where the rollover occurs ... the original thought of doing something for them became in fact them doing something for me. They have opened my eyes and created a passion in my heart for this quest. There will be no end.
It's years ago since it now started. I remember vaguely how it initially just seemed like a good idea and then it blossomed from such a thought into a way of life. My Dad had just had his accident and was to become invalided away from the natural world that he loved. I was a million miles away (might as well have been) on the opposite side of the Atlantic and powerless to have any real effect on his daily existence.
The only thing I could come up with was to try to go out and capture images of the natural world for him and bring that world into his confining surrounds. So, each weekend, armed with my trusted Sony I would take to the trails and see what moments I could capture for him. Then spend the rest of the day sorting through them, printing at Walgreens and writing the explanatory letter for each numbered picture.
At the opposite end of the transmission, my Mom would bring the letter in and read it to him while he browsed through the images, painstakingly searching for the detail I would try to portray.By the time he died a couple of years later thousands of images in over a hundred letters had found their way across the Atlantic into the twilight days of his life. And now the baton passed to my mom and for the last couple of years, thousands more across a couple hundred letters have found their way into her life; hopefully brightening her days with views of a world far away.
I embrace the quest with both arms ... it has changed who I am and given me someone better to aim for.