18 years ago life was a turmoil … discuss the details? I’d rather not; but in the midst of near overwhelming negativity I was blessed with a physical refuge. I bought, with the help of my dear parents, a cabin near Zion’s National Park. Almost every weekend, hidden away in Lemon Springs Canyon, I escaped the pressures and found solitude, communion and healing.
I am filled with nostalgia for today is the last day I will sit on this deck at sunrise, it is the last time I will look over the handiwork of my father who was a master at invention and whose love is everywhere here. It is the last day day I will sit on this deck at sunrise and look at the swing set I received as a mother’s day gift and that more children than I can count have leaped from the swings, hung from the tricky bars or slid down the slide yelling “Hey, Grandma! Watch me!”
I won’t hike to the dry water fall again nor hike out to the Observation Point. I will remember other hikes … solitary ones or with gaggles of family (it’s ‘only 2 miles’) and I’ll remember moonlight views over Zion Canyon, and laugh as I tell the story of the rattlesnake we passed in the dark coiled & shaking and holding hands with Steven, newly returned from his mission, while we flashed our lights back and forth like Hansel & Gretel until we leaped into the truck to safety.
This refuge my mother named “Far Enough” … far enough you wished it were closer and far enough people don’t drop in for a visit. The memories this little cabin holds cannot be measured except in love and smiles; s’mores around the campfire and contests to find the best marshmallow roaster, finding that broken tip of an ancient arrowhead, shooting bb guns, 22’s, bows & arrows, playing Monopoly and Jenga, eating Grandpa Greg’s famous buttermilk pancakes (“Are there any more left?”), cooking dutch-oven dinners and peach cobbler on hot coals in the fire pit, making homemade ice cream in the coffee can ice cream maker (another loved gift from sweet grandchildren), mega bonfires after a brush clearing … and so much laughter.
The memories include my dad lifting the lid on the septic system while I gagged, then years later it was me lifting the lid and my daughter gagging … the comments were the same, “it doesn’t stink, here hold this up while I pull the roots out”. Dad and his 80 year old friend Joel installing skylights to brighten inside. Dad and David patching the old asphalt roof, David and Greg spending a week putting on the new steel roof, Angie and I painting the walls and resetting stair stones (and cleaning the septic tank) … babies bathing in the little red ladybug sandbox (still kept under the deck), the oldest of the toddlers weaving across the uneven ground are now high school grads, one an enlisted man … our oldest granddaughter who waded through slot canyons with us had our first great-grandson night before last but Silas will never make memories at ‘the cabin’ because this afternoon our Piece of Heaven will belong to another.
My heart is full of gratitude and love and my eyes are overflowing (can’t help it) … for my parents love and willingness to help my dream come true. For my children, grandchildren and honorary sons, daughters, and grandkids and nieces and nephews, and sisters and brothers and friends who fill my life with joy and who have loved this little piece of heaven as I do. For my heart’s love, Sweetie, who cut brush and trees, hung steel, fixed pipes, hauled water, cooked pancakes and helped build memories and love for the eternities. To you all, your spirits and laughter and love for one another echo everywhere here … and though ‘the cabin’ won’t be ours any longer I hope all of the laughter and memories will always stay rooted deeply in your hearts …
where love is … and you will smile.