Yesterday there was a memorial paddle down the north fork of the Skykomish River for Sam Grafton. The day was shades of gray, snowing, sleeting, winds high in the trees. And I was home by the fire, unaware. But I saw the photos and videos. And on that gray river were clusters of bright kayaks, like spring flowers.

As the kayaks and rafts started to float away, people lining the bridge, lining the river, threw in flowers.

Today I had to drive to the city. As I followed the twists and turns of the highway, I found myself searching the river.

All those flowers alone out there in the wind and snow and rain. Caught in little eddies, pushed ashore to rest on rocks, flying free downriver on the current.

Over the past week many have brought flowers to their house. Beautiful bouquets. And I felt anger, that they would have to watch those flowers die.

So today I watched the rushing water as I drove. I wanted to find a flower, a petal, something I could steal back from the river.

Save it.

Bring it home.

Keep it safe forever.

But the flowers are gone.

icicle creek 014

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