Mandy portrait
  • Expedition: Dec 5-10, 2004
  • Mandy
  • Sunnyside and Merced High Schools - Richard Iglehart Memorial Expedition
  • Yosemite National Park: Merced Grove


I have been thinking of things, under these great December trees. I have been thinking of legacy, and of memory.

I have been thinking of Betelgeuse, and of 200 year-old light reaching us on this still winter night. Of the fact that you many no longer exist, yet still, you shine.

I have been thinking of stories from my Hmong students, of shamans calling the ancestors together with loving family members, wishing them happy New Year, asking their blessings.

I have been thinking of brujas, sensing old grudges, curses, blessings...seeking to understand, sate undying spirits, building bridges to an unseen world.

I have been thinking of my mother, four years gone, now; I have been thinking lately of her arms, and the way they felt when I was small enough for them to wrap around me twice.

I have been thinking of what Pond said that standing under the sequoias at night felt like being with someone who took care of you long ago. Someone who took care of you perhaps before you were even born.

And isn't that what legacy is? It's taking care of those who will come after, who we will never know; it is in knowing those who went before, even though they are gone, because yet, they shine.

giant sequoia
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