Bob was like gravity for me. Without him I might go spinning off into the atmosphere amidst all the planning in my head. Without me Bob might have spun a web around himself and burrowed in. I kept us connected to people and he kept us connected to the earth.
When we would go hiking, I was the one studying the map at the fork in the trail. Lingering there with my wavy hair sticking out from under my brim hat that I purchased at a Grateful Dead concert years before. Needing to know where we were going and how long it would take to get there, did we have enough food?
Meanwhile, Bob would be gazing with awe and wonder at the banana slug inching its way across the trail, searching for a log or leaf, his own shaggy locks hidden by a colorful hat he had purchased recently at the Portland Saturday Market. No worries about the dwindling light or the lack of food.
“Bob, it is getting dusky. We need to get going if we want to get back to the trailhead before dark,” I would say, a slight edge to my voice.
“Hey Renie, did you see this Douglas fir? Look at this old growth tree, the sword fern growing out of it wouldn’t fit in our kitchen. Amazing,” he would respond, as if there was nothing else at this moment to focus on but this tree.
Glancing up from the map I would see Bob leaning up against the tree with his arms stretched out, as if trying to give the tree a big hug. His arms didn’t even make it half-way around the trunk. Those huge old growth trees were an amazing sight.
Thank goodness I had Bob to remind me to pay attention, to stop the fretting and enjoy the moment.
Together we had the forest and the trees.