From the time I heard that his cancer-ridden body would not return to a normal life, to when he entered hospice, was about 48-hours. I tried to call him but could not get through. And so I resorted to messengers from another realm. I loaded up my snowshoes and drove to the mountain trail that would deliver me to Grandmother Tree.
GM Tree, the Ponderosa Queen of the forest, stood stately off-trail, as if she was expecting us. I made my way to her, slipped off my snowshoes and leaned belly-first-into her as tears flowed. She has received me for years. She has comforted me. She has kicked my butt when it needed to be done. Today, she simply was, in all her healing power. Of course, she communicated, she would send my prayers to Deac, from her needle top through the heavens to his bedside.
I removed my jacket and plopped myself down. Leaning against her thick bark, I gazed from time to time into her towering branches. I spoke to Her and communed with Deac in the sanctuary of the wild, trusting that She, Deac and I were on the same wavelength.
I made my way down the mountain in shirt sleeves, loaded up the truck and decided to head out to the mesa to a location I rarely go. I wasn't done yet, but wasn't sure why. I came over a little knoll and there they were, the largest group of bighorns I have seen thus far.
I pulled off the road and began to walk. I stopped and stood in amazement when a ram broke from the group and slowly walked towards me. His large golden eyes met my blues.
Distance is a strange companion to mourning. One does what one can to communicate. To reach a vibration that will touch and enfold. There was something in that ram's presence that told me all was well. Indeed, a cousin would tell me later that she was able to talk with him in his final moments, that he was in good spirits and told her that, "I'm going to ride this pony wherever it takes me." Quintessential Deac.
This new moon's for you, Dear Man. Thank you for those rides across the Iowa prairies to the old cemeteries For laughing when ten-year-old me ordered a piece of pie at the Maid-Rite for breakfast... and for letting me do it. For ambling across the street to come and see me whenever I returned to Iowa, for looking me in the eye and asking how I was. Damn, what I wouldn't give for one more sit-down.