While she was alive, Freya made the most of her tiny window into the world, filling it with her boundless imagination and her innate desire to leave a mark, her own mark, a mark that no one else would think of. Maybe even a mark that no one would recognize for a very, very long time. Or maybe … ever.
The view from the top of Half Dome was just as spectacular as I knew it would be … and just as familiar. Kind of like coming home, really, to see the valley nearly 9,000 feet below, with its ancient glacial cut extending northeastward up Tenaya Canyon and El Capitan at the opposite end of the valley to the west; rolling mountaintops hiding fields and forests on the horizon opposite my granite perch. At 9:00 in the morning the sun warmed my back while I gazed into the distance, remembering Jossman Burrell and letting him know I’d finally made it. As I hoisted my backpack to pull out the notebook I felt the weight of the box containing his ashes. Two years Grampa Joss had been waiting for me to bring him back to this place that held his heart and soul.
A chocolate éclair seemed like a really good idea.
Instead, she went out and bought new art supplies. A blank sketchpad, acrylics, brushes, rollerball pens with glittery ink. Stars appeared on the paper, vivid blue stars outlined in silver; spiky orange stars with tulip buds in their centers; gently sloping emerald green stars that dripped lavender tears. She got up from her new art table, disbelieving the clock that told her three hours had passed.
“You’re in Poland, in the southwest part of Poland. Can you move your head?” because I thought maybe he had hit his head when he touched down. Even in the 1 a.m. darkness I could see how handsome he was, but it was cold out, and dark, and dangerous, and we had to move quickly. “Can you move your arms?” His arms were crossed across his chest, like a corpse, but I was so relieved that he wasn’t dead, I could barely speak. “Come on, we have to move quickly to get you out of this field.”