Here is an excerpt from a letter written by Ms Christine Bummaryde- the cook at a children’s camp had an encounter with Godfrey both mysterious and dream like..we thank her and wish her laughter and bold adventures.

Down the true right bank of the Ayum Creek Spur on a large, flat, warm rock is where Godfrey met her. ..Where Salal grows deep, and slide alder tall, in the cool of the canyon twas late summer, not quite ready the season to accept her warm cloak of fall.

Where Ayum Creek narrows through steep, mossy walls, I hiked downstream alone to get free of it all. The kitchen’s heat, the chaos and stress, my nit-picking boss, the fact that my life was a mess.

In the cool of the canyon, jeans rolled to my knee, slipping and climbing down the boulders and over the rough bark and sap of a fresh fallen tree. Where Ayum Creek chuckles and all you can hear is the waters mirth and harmonious earth’s wise reply-silence. This river has been her’s forever.

The winter high water washes all things clean, trout jump for bugs in the pools deep and green. Deer and the wildcat co-exist free, and on his rock sat The Vagabond Godfrey. He was leaning against an old red and black suitcase, his feet in the water, wind burnt, friendly face, he beckoned to me as I stared, “come and sit” “And join me here, I am learning to knit”.

Oh the cool of the canyon was pleasant in shade, he proudly held up the sweater he’d made, one sleeve knitted tight, the other too long.. I noticed the colors he’d used. I said, “Why you have knitted the shades of the canyon!, the golds and the shale and sandstone, the sky white and blue. “He said “yes that is true, the collar will be in skunk-cabbage green, and I will knit some mitts Arbutus Bark russet in hue”.

In the drowsy sun of the day we sat quiet. I asked of him, “old vagabond,how is it you have come to Ayum Creek Canyon”?.. He said, “I am not really here in body, for I left the whirled’s hold for spirit not so long ago” And in the midst of transition was told, I’d appear again only as words, to one who needed to see, that they are a worthy and beautiful person” You are  a reflection of all that surrounds you, deep in the cool of the canyon” .

On the true right bank of Ayum Creek Spur, I awoke with a shock,it was early evening on that now chilly rock, there was nothing to show that Godfrey had been, but stray threads of plaid wool, gold, blue and green.

Godfrey’s passing did not elevate him to Saint-Hood.. he had his quirks, he disliked beets, I prefer to think of him as he was, poet, water sprite, legendary consumer of Ice-Cream. Ayum Creek Canyon is a special, magical place, if you ever hike down may just meet up with Godfrey.


6 thoughts on “IN THE COOL OF THE CANYON- From Worzel

  1. I love, love, love this post. I’ve often been rescued from my doldrums by the wonders of nature if I take the time to let them seep into me. I treasure the last lines about Godfrey’s passing; and, for some reason, “Where Salal grows deep, and slide alder tall” has been singing in my mind since I read the words.

    • Thanks Janet? do you have Salal in your state? I think it is a coastal rain-forest thing. Ayum Creek is a real place of great magic. A place that has resonated in my life over 30 years. It was inevitable that Godfrey find his way there.Many thanks, I am glad the story touched your heart. From Sheila

  2. I’m unfamiliar with Salal, but I’ll google it. I’m not surprised that Ayum Creek has been part of your life. One of the things I enjoy about your writing is that it has a strong sense of place, which, I believe, comes from inhabiting either the setting you’re writing about or a similar locale.

  3. Thanks Janet- I write about the places I have loved. Even if an experience is well past, the love remains. Salal is a thick ground shrub with fruit like a small blueberry. Very much a part of the forest here.

  4. I enjoy your conversations, Janet and Sheila, even a year after they were written. I’ve been reading Godfrey’s life story over the past six months and love reading that during his transition was told he would appear as words to one who needed to see……..

    • A favorite poet\musician, Greg Brown wrote of how a gap in his life began as a crack, “Which grew into a rift, which formed a chasm, and became a canyon” What oft for me begins as pithy words for an aquaintances birthday card, with a prod from Godfrey- evolves. Love that you are reading the saga, thank you.

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