In search of space
We imprison ourselves
And struggle to break the
Self imposed shackles.
And vainly we
Search for source
To our misery
and we gasp for a
breath of fresh air.
I am vacationing with my family and this post definitely was not in my planning.
We visited Horseshoe Bend in Page. Arizona on XMas day afternoon. It was a joyous occasion for us as we had planned it for a long time. Little did we know that at a time we were having fun, a family was grieving for their loved one who lost her life at that very spot twenty four hours ago.
We arrived Bryce Canyon at about 8:30PM yesterday to biting cold and immediately went out for dinner before the restaurants closed. On return to our hotel and opening internet, very first news that we got in whatsapp from my brother-in-law shook us to the core. We scoured the internet to know what happened. All the news channels had reported that on Christmas eve afternoon a girl from San Jose, CA (my hometown) fell to her death at Horseshoe Bend. Parents reported her missing after looking for her for couple of hours. A helicopter search located her body seven hundred feet below the lookout point but it was too late in the evening to recover the body. The body was recovered on Christmas day AT ten in the morning.
My mind immediately focussed on the tension my wife was going through when we were having fun at Horseshoe Bend. It was a gorgeous evening, cool but not cold with the sun low on the horizon. She, like any good mother, was trying to keep us all away from going too near the rim as we were busy clicking away trying to preserve the moment in our cameras and cell phones. All around us, young and old alike were busy taking selfies. A barrier was erected near the rim of the look out point but many adventurous souls were scattered all over happily oblivious that a tragedy had occurred there may be less than twenty four hours ago. It may have hurt the business if people would have known. One can only speculate.
As we were about to return to the shuttle stop my wife panicked as we could not locate our daughter. For about ten minutes or so, she basically went bonkers looking for her. Happily we found her well inside the barrier taking photos. I can only imagine what was going through the minds of the parents of the missing girl the previous evening.
While the cause of the fall is not known yet and speculation is futile, our memory of Horseshoe Bend will foreever be associated with this tragedy. Pray that the grieving parents find strength to bear with this great loss.
As for me I can only say that please be careful. Don’t let a moment’s indiscretion be the cause of lifelong grief.
The streets are empty now, mourners have gone home
Lonely flower bouquets keeping each other company
Street lamps casting their lights as shadows roam
Here and there a few walk around drunkenly
What a lovely day it was full of laughter and hope
People milling around happily, sun shining through
A few shady characters trying to sell some dope
As I saw her coming down the street, my hope grew
She came with open arms and thousand roses bloomed
Her rosy cheeks and radiant smile filled my heart with joy
Never did I realized my love was to be short lived and doomed
In my imagination, she was more beautiful than Helen of Troy
Single red rose I offered she accepted with glee
Hand in hand we walked enjoying the day
Oblivious to the world around us, our spirits free
Ready to face the unknown future, come what may
When it came it came with a bang, no one expected
Peace was shattered, sun hid its face, the street exploded
Loud bang followed by deadly silence was all that remained
Blood and bones scattered everywhere, as chaos reigned
Amidst the ruins I looked for my love, where my joy has gone
Stem of the red rose bereft of its petals was the only memento I found
Heart filled with grief, bracing myself to a pole, looked up at the setting sun
Red rose petals mixed with gold blazed like a crimson crown
This poem is in response to Jane Dougherty’s A Month (November) with Yeats Challenge day Seven