Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Deadly Water

Never will I be able to move away from water. As a child, I grew up with mountain views but because my Dad was an obsessive compulsive fisherman, I spent many hours sitting along side a creek, lake or river just staring happily. Our church camp in Montana was located on Flathead Lake. I loved it there and the sunsets rivaled what I see over Puget Sound. Something draws me to the serenity and beauty of the water. Interestingly, when we visited Herne Bay and Canterbury, England, I discovered that the waterfront looks a lot like Mukilteo. My ancient relatives lived there and great great grandparents were evidently seaman. So I wonder sometimes if I have some genetic coding that draws me to the sea. My English Grandpa's brother lived and died right over there on Whidbey Island. I bet he loved it like I do--the same genes.

Recently, when we were in Albuquerque, I had quite a conversation with one of my husband's scientist friends who lives there. He grew up in Kansas on a farm located in open flatland. He loves New Mexico but returns often to Kansas to hunt and spend time. The most comfort and peace he experiences is in open flat grassland. I explained that driving through flatland in Kansas or anywhere makes me terribly uncomfortable and practically claustrophobic. My son experienced the same unpleasant feeling travelling through North Dakota. We need borders of mountains and water to orient ourselves and to know which direction is which--north or south; east or west. Without the landmarks, we feel almost panicked--like being in complete darkness or in total white out blizzard conditions.

But, Mr. Scientist described to me that he had a similar feeling during a recent stay in Seattle. He said he felt penned in because he couldn't walk or drive on all of our water and the mountains made him feel blocked and claustrophobic. He couldn't go from here to there easliy. I remember my mother in law who grew up in the flatter parts of Kansas never grew accustomed to Montana even after 50 years. She always felt like she couldn't see with mountains in her face. I guess whatever imprints are made on our young baby brains stay with us forever.

The water may be glorious but sadly, in the last week, it has claimed four lives--right out here. The first was to the left out my windows but slightly beyond where I see. A medical helicopter crashed with a crew of three, the pilot and two nurses. It went down off of Edmonds in deep deep water. One body was recovered but the wreckage and the other two are still missing. They say they need the Navy with their deep water location capabilites.

The second was to the right out my windows up on the Tulalip Reservation. Two 19 year old boys had launched their boat to fish for salmon and it capsized. One of them drowned and this is too close to my son's age. This is so devastating for their families and community. At least they finally found him yesterday.

So this morning when I saw the lights of the cruise ship before sunrise, it seemed haunting with the bow pointing toward the cold grave of the helicopter.

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us
Taken at 7 AM this morning.