A Rock in the Valley

We climbed a hillside

One he had been to many times before

It was a place he brought all of the valley’s visitors

All his friends

His loved ones

We climbed with quick excited steps

Laughing and joking, how winded we were

When I looked up from the grassy incline there was the pavilion

Where camp was set up, and stories were shared

And then the valley caught my eye

Endless rolling green peaks

Breath escaped my chest, it was beautiful

But then he got quiet

He took me to this rock just in front of the pavilion

His best friend’s rock

“He used to sit here and look out for hours”

He told me, with his hands on his side, looking down

Remembering their many summers together

“It’s an awesome rock”

Not much more I could say

So we sat

“No you sit on the rock, he would want you to enjoy this”

I felt honored, almost unworthy

It was truly the best spot in the valley

I watched as he sat on the ground

Below the rock, a few feet in front of me

He cleared a patch of dirt

Gathering small rocks nearby, he built a circle

In the dirt he wrote his friends initials

But it wasn’t just dirt

And it wasn’t just ash from many fires

It was the ash of his friend as well

Ash that he spread himself after his friend’s funeral

And that is when this man

With sunken head and gentle hands

Completed his structure, a monument

And staring off into the sunset

He quietly wept

For his friend he never forgot

And never will forget

In the many months to come

In the many journeys back to this spot

In the valley of frost

In the warmth of many fires


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