I suspect someone died on the ledges behind my house today while I was gone. I suspect it was a tragic, stupid decision that ended in the loss of a young soul. I suspect a mother is heartbroken, a family in shock, siblings in disbelief, a father shattered to the core of his being.
I suspect a group of friends are recalling the horror of watching one of their own depart.
I came around the bend to emergency vehicles from every department; from the State to several surrounding towns. My first inkling that something was very wrong was the Brush Fire Control unit. Fish and game was standing by, ambulances and small town fire & rescue were in abundance. I had to stop to allow the hearse to back into position, dark and foreboding amid the blocky trucks.
I suspect you can not witness this scene in your proverbial backyard without feeling the change in atmosphere, the knowledge that exuberant, youthful joy suddenly turned into a life lesson.
My ledges are accessed by a part of the Wapack Trail, a hiking route that is admired by athletes, provides vistas to Boston on a very rare clear day, and is a magnet for kids who don’t quite understand they are not invincible. These shaly outcroppings allow for spectacular views but present treacherous footing for those who refuse to respect the earth’s folds. I suspect a rare slip of responsibility lead to this heavy air of sadness tonight.
The ravens are silent, no raucous Jays or Woodpeckers at the feeder. I close the door to the deck that faces to the back of my property, to the ledges. Darkness will calm us all.
It smells smoky, and pine tree scented and Summery in my bedroom. I have a moment of panic, fire is unstoppable here. A quick check on the front deck reveals no odor except the flowers overflowing their pots. Yet the air is thick and hushed. I close the doors and windows on the heavy scent of grief.