10 November 2012

Race Day on the Burke Gilman Trail (written in 2006)


I was out on the Burke Gilman Trail a week or so ago, riding as hard as I could, just trying to get the last few miles in so I could make my goal for the week, pulling along with a nice little late afternoon tail wind, when out of nowhere, this little kid on a mini-Schwinn with streamers and training wheels pulls in behind me. Red hair, freckles, and sneakers with no socks. No helmet, no mom or dad anywhere to be seen. I look behind me and he's giving it all he's got to stay on my wheel. I sped up a bit, he sped up a bit; I slowed down, he slowed down. I didn't know what to do, so I shrugged it off and just continued to ride my ride. About a block and a half from my finish line, the kid sprints out in front of me. Now I'm peeved. I don't mind pulling somebody along, but now they want to embarrass me? I kick it up a gear and ride hard to catch his 16" wheel, but he looks around at me, sticks his tongue out and gives me a raspberry, while turning on the afterburners.

Slowly, I manage to pull along side of him and we're neck and neck for a minute, but by now my quads are burning up. I've been on the bike for over a half hour and he knows I'm about to bonk. BAM! He kicks it up a notch. I kick up another gear and stand, but now I'm starting to cramp. No matter, I'm not gonna let this wheel sucker ace me out of my glory. He follows suit and is out of the saddle, pedaling his single speed K-Mart special with white knobby tires for all it's worth.

Just about that time, outta some shrubs to the left, here comes a dog. And he's coming fast. I hesitate for just a moment as this distraction causes me to lose cadence and as the kid crosses the finish line a wheel length in front of me, he whistles, yells "c'mon boy", and slowly turns down the sidewalk and into his driveway. I lower my head and slink off to my truck, carefully remove the front wheel from my light weight imported race bike, ease my bike onto the Yakima rack on top of the car, and slowly, ever so slowly drive off. As I turn the corner out of the park and sneak a peek while driving by the kid's house, there he is in the window, a smile on his face, petting his loyal friend on the head and eating a peanut butter sandwich.

Someday, I'm gonna beat the pants of that 5 year old.

Donald Boothby

06 September 2012

Photo Book

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07 August 2012

The Art of Sculpting with Stone

The Art of Sculpting With Stone by Donald Boothby August 17, 2008
It is a very simple thing. Pick a stone and place it atop another stone. Keep doing this until you are finished. This is the entire basis for this living landscape sculpture art. Stones may be obtained anywhere, but I have found the best sources to be along the rivers, streams and ocean shores in my travels. Each stone, though, has meaning. It has its own sense of being, its own purpose. In sculpting with stones, I try to achieve a natural balance that can only be found, not forced. Force always causes collapse, whereas a well balanced sculpture can often withstand gale force winds. Included in this package is a starter kit for your garden. In it, you will find the following:
A base stone. This stone is actually a tile, found on the beach in the Golfo de Taranto on the Italian coast.
A second base stone. This stone was found on the Tireannean Sea, also in Calabria.
Six smaller roundish sort of flat stones. These are the fun pieces that can give a bit of humor to a sculpture. They can also be used to guide the garden visitor’s eye away from the sculpture and to another feature you wish them to observe.
Photographs. These are mere samples of one way in which these stones were used as a sculpture in my personal landscape. These special stones have been used in over 20 permutations and in combination of various sculptures in my own garden in a variety of other arrangements.
Stone sculptures are not considered a permanent fixture in the garden. I choose a living landscape of stone works which has a life of its own. It is like a dance with ever changing steps. It changes from day to day, with visitors to our home encouraged to participate in the dance. I am never offended when one of my “favorite” sculptures is altered. This is the whole focus of having a living landscape. So often, we have gardens where all of the materials are fixed. Every day, we look at the garden and we see the same plants in the same place, with the only change being that of the seasons. In sculpting with stone, we have a garden that changes on a regular basis and one never knows what they will see the next visit. Will it be the same? Not likely. In this way of gardening, we impact very little. We need neither poisons nor vast amounts of precious natural resources in order to maintain a beautiful landscape and our sculptures can be used to augment many other garden features. Maintenance is relatively simple. Chemicals and pesticides are totally unnecessary and we need only water to enhance the beauty of the sculpture, yet today’s sculpture is but a temporary and fleeting thing. It is my sincere desire that you find joy and peace in your garden, and that these small tokens of my affection give you as much pleasure and inspiration as they have me in the years they have graced my own landscape. Donald

(this was given with a gift of stones for his brother)

04 August 2012

Donald was very talented - Poetry


Like moonbeams in the fog
          there is no moon
          there is no fog

A radiant explosion without sound
the late autumn air crisp; clean; fragrant; pure.

First a mystic glow like the full moon 
behind thin clouds;
Transforming to a starburst of pale green
becoming shimmering white rays turning pink as 
their tendrils approach the horizon;
and between them,
fields of faint dark red appear
as if to warm the glaciers over which they play.

A star-studded white tornado dances amongst the
mountain ridges
as a night bird screeches its applause 
somewhere across the still water.
Massive bands of green waves reflect their emeraldlike beauty
in Auke Lake
with a slight mist rising
as if to respond with their own aurora.

In the distance, snowcapped peaks with
brilliant blazes of ice-blue light above.

Midnight approaches like a false dawn.
No sun; no moon; only stars and nightsky.
frozen and silent;
earthplanet as spectator to the cosmos.

Ears chilled,
    hands numbed,
       eyes overwhelmed,
           soul calmed,
I rest with a peace and realization of yet another
of life’s dreams fulfilled.

Goodnight, Juneau.

      Donald Boothby
      October 30, 2003

Ode to Rhubarb

Sometimes had it hot
sometimes had it cold
always sweet
always bold
sometimes over icecream
sometimes in jam
spread thick on my toast
no matter how we got it
we loved our rhubarb most



mac and cheese 
if you please.
It'll do in a squeeze.
It don't make me wheeze
It won't give me fleas.
Its made in a breeze
just please don't freeze
my mac and cheese.

Donald Boothby
February 9, 2009


I button my shirt from the bottom
I always do bottom to top
my mommy says it should be perfect
much different, she says, than ol' Pop.

Now Pop, he does it all backwards
he always goes top straight on down.
Then walks around dressed up in flannel
buttoned crooked all day around town.

Then home he comes for his supper
and what does mom do, one wonders.
She cooks up a nice soup with barley
quite careful to ignore his blunders.

But me, does she give such leeway?
Oh NO! Here lies the trap.
If I get just one button crooked
there's sure to come a head slap.

Donald Boothby
February 9, 2009


I the great noble Marine
Standing alone against the world.
I the scared little boy
In a grown man’s body.
Don’t worry about me, I can handle it;
Strength and endurance will carry me through.

 I the great survivor.

Don’t look at my insides, they’re too real;
No peeks behind the masks allowed.
Weakness and shame cannot show;
This is the fear worse than death itself.
When all else fails read the directions?
No! When all else fails mask it with

 drugs:  The ultimate foxhole; the bunker which keeps even the 
   feelings away.

Slowly, slowly the walls begin to crumble.
Fear turns to panic turns to rage.
Find a new bunker – a new drug.

 Mask the pain stuff the fear show the rage.

Anger is allowed
 it's manly
  it's deserved.

From nowhere a question begins to haunt the soul:


In self there is no answer
In self there is no hope.
The disease has eaten away from the inside leaving a mere shell.
In one brief moment the question is answered.

Someone says, “we can”
Someone says, “we care”;
a new child is born
a child with no uniform – no masks.
Then, taking that first step, reaching out to take a hand
 Lest I should fall….

Mistakes are allowed;
 They are human
  They are expected.
From deep within the answer is given:
 “I surrender”

      Donald Boothby
      January, 1998
      Seattle, WA 

29 July 2012

Donald is gone

Donald Edward Boothby

Donald "Raleighdon" Boothby of Seattle, born December 3, 1950, died July 18, 2012 of esophageal cancer. He often described himself as the richest man he knew, because he was surrounded by love, lived life with joy, and left the planet with no regrets. He was boisterous, irrepressible, romantic and generous, with an infectious smile and attitude. He had a quick wit and an irreverent sense of humor.

He was passionate about cycling, playing the fiddle, and baking pies. The intensity of his joy in these hobbies inspired many to take them up. He cared deeply about his family and friends, and was a spiritual mentor to many. He is survived by his wife Mimi, sons Josiah, Tom and wife Megan, his daughters Elena Gianello, Elena Verdolini and Renin Oliver; his mother Evelyn, siblings Christine Faubion, David, Michael, and Robin Pierce, a large extended family and innumerable friends.

A potluck celebration of his life will be held at 1:17pm Saturday, August 11, at the Garden House, 2336 15th Ave S, Seattle Gifts can be made to Donald's fund to get exercise bicycles for Swedish Hospital https://community.swedish.org/donaldboothby

This post done by Mimi Boothby - it is his obituary that was published in the Seattle times on July 22, 2012 FYI, he only actually had two sons, but he "adopted" the two Elenas and Renin with his typical generosity. I am sure if he had lived longer, he would have adopted more.

15 April 2012

My Ass Finds No Fault with New Asphalt

Monday, I had the opportunity to catch a 20 mile ride with my son Tom who is in town for a computer mathmetical geek get together for 4 days at the UofW campus. I picked him up on campus and we started our ride from near U Village. I'm still keeping my riding to the flats, as I continue my recovery from long and difficult surgery and the complications from it. The road back is pretty slow, but at least I'm able to get out when the weather warms up to 50 degrees and it isn't pouring down rain or snow. Those days have seemed to be few and far between this winter.

At any rate, we took off north, in serach of a burger, fries and a milkshake. There just happens to be a great place about 10 miles away (PERFECT!!!) in Kenmore. I've wanted to ride over the new section of the Burke Gilman Trail, having read that it is finally open. As Dave Niehaus would say, "MY OF MY". I can't tell you to break out the rye bread and mustard, but it felt somehow very smug and satisfied as I rode through Lake Forest Park, reflecting back on how goddam difficult it was to get past the dumbass politicians in that most stupid of all cities. The pavement is a couple feet wider than the old trail. The renovations have stripped old vegetation and there are a lot of new plantings and little water ditches to maintain the wetlands effect. Riding along through that new 2-1/2 mile stretch, we heard a couple of bald eagles calling to each other. We never saw them, but it was nice to know that they are enjoying our new trail also. Especially right in the center of the Lake Forest Park "downtown" it was fantastic. All of the roots have been removed, nice smooth, wide pavement now in place and the intersections have new, wider curb cuts making it much easier to navigate around pedestrians without either of us feeling like we were at risk.

At the 10 mile mark, we needed some lunch, so we pulled across to the other side of Bothell Way and made our pilgrimage to Kidd Valley, where we reminisced about how this was one of our primary stops back when we were training for STP. Hard sometimes to conceive of things so far back. I was working at the top of the hill at St. Thomas Center (now the home of Bastyr University) and one day, had Tom and Josiah ride from home out to meet me there for lunch. Tom was 11 and Josiah was 13 and it was the first time they ever did a 50 mile bike ride all by themselves. And now, here we were, nearly 2 decades later, much older, somewhat wiser and not a whole lot more grown up than we were then, munching down our cyclists power food.

Believe it or not, Tom was smiling, even if only on the inside. He gave me a gift certificate for Christmas promising to do a bike ride with me every month from January through June. In January, he drove down from Coquitlam, BC on the last weekend of the month and we did 10 miles together. It was supposed to be 12.5 but I pooped out. He went home, got the truck and came back and picked Mimi (who refused to leave me sitting by myself by the side of the road) and me up. In February, I put my bike on the train, rode Amtrak to Vancouver, BC (what a fantastic way to travel to Vancouver!!!) and we did just a 4.4 mile ride around their neighborhood, but at least we got it in. So when I picked him up at the UW campus on Monday morning, with the sun shining and the thermometer in the truck saying 50 degrees, both he and I were smiling pretty good.

After our burgers, it was time to head back. Hmmmmm. No wonder it had been so pleasant riding to Kenmore. That headwind started blowing into our faces and I remembered why I usually try to ride INTO the wind on the first half of a ride. As we rode through LFP heading south, I noticed that at one of the two intersections, the pedestrian signal post is placed sort of awkwardly, splitting the lane in a very uncomfortable place. I think the accesses are wide enough that it is not a huge issue, but just sort of gave me a little bit of mental pause, and made me file it away for future reference so I make sure I slow down a little extra as I approach it. It is the first intersection as you're riding southbound (Ballinger Way).

After riding all that smooth asphalt, It was tough heading back onto the old section of trail. Hopefully, there are some plans underway to do some more upgrades between the University District and there, as several sections still have a lot of roots growing up through the pavement and are just starting to get into a pretty serious state of disrepair (the half-assed patch done where the slide happened 2 winters ago is a good example).

I do love the Burke Gilman Trail and look forward to a time when I can enjoy a nice smooth paved ride from downtown Issaquah to Golden Gardens Park. Now THAT will be a day worth celebrating. In the meantime, I'll just keep my sometimes very satisfied bum planted firmly in the saddle, enjoying the extreme pleasure of new asphalt every time it comes. Ahhhhhhhh. New asphalt AND a tailwind. If there is a heaven, I'm sure that is what it will be like.

24 March 2012

A Nice Day In Seattle - Let's Take a Little Ride

Whooee! I'm way behind. I haven't posted any bike riding photos here for some time and here it is already nearly the end of March. Well, I suppose not doing much riding will tend to do that for a feller, but today, Mimi and I got to go out and do a 15.6 mile ride along the Duwamish Trail and out to Alki Beach and back. Here's a few of the photos I took along the way and afterwards.

Yep, we drove to the start line in MBR, my lovely F-150:

After a quick potty stop, we were off along the Duwamish Trail, cutting across Harbor Island and onto the trail to Alki. We had to stop a few times to kiss and hug and enjoy the scenery.

This one of our favorite (and one of the most photographed) vistas of the Seattle Skyline.

North of Alki Beach, the trail was pretty wide open. This is one of the nicest MUPs in the area, but on a 72 degree sunny day in July, there ain't much room one can call his own.

The Olympic Mountain Range as seen across Puget Sound. It's always nice when our mountains come out to visit us - and those days have been few and far between this past few months. The beach wasn't very busy today.

I just had to ride at least as far south as my favorite house along Beach Drive. It's been for sale for a couple years now. Last year they had a sign that said, "Price Reduced" - I think it was down to $4.5MM. Any takers?

Heading back north into the headwind, we had to stop at our favorite snack spot and have a cup of cocoa. Well, Mimi drank cocoa and I drank my Starbucks Frappucchino I'd been nursing til I could get it to room temperature.

New asphalt has been laid through almost the entirety of T-107 Park on the Duwamish Trail. SCHWEET RIDING!!!

There is a picnic table that we often stop and rest at, mostly just to enjoy the solitude and the views of the skyline of Seattle as seen through the industrial areas.

After the ride, we needed to stop off at Swedish Hospital to pick up a prescription and I found a Camelia Bush in full bloom - just had to steal ONE LITTLE FLOWER for my sweetie.....

...or should I say my "SheBeest".....

Then long before we were done having fun, we got home and I thought it might be nice to take a little snooze amongst the daffy-dills.

Ride Safe
Have Fun
Get To The Finish Line With a SMILE!!!

23 March 2012

I'm Waiting

Living with cancer has proven to be an interesting exercise. With the hundreds of visits to the doctor(s), poking, prodding, testing, reviewing and shooting me up with all kinds of wonder drugs that are supposed to kill this stuff off, it seems like I spend more time at Swedish Cancer Institute than anywhere else. And everybody wants to give me an injection of some kind. I feel more like a pin cushion sometimes than a human body.

Now, for every appointment, there is this ritual. Boot up the computer (well, OF COURSE!!! What would life be like if we looked at the patient instead of a computer screen - I'll write (or rant) more about that another time, perhaps - to review the patient history? This ritual consists of a drug review. "Have you changed any of your medications since you were in last?" "You mean since this morning in the other doctor's office? No." That answer isn't good enough. Now we have to spend 15 minutes reviewing each of the medications one by one as they stumble through everything I've taken since August 29th when I first started treatment. Thank goodness, my hair hasn't fallen out because I have to tell you, this is enough to make me pull it out, and if it fallen out, then what would I do in my frustration? "Have you developed any new allergies?" "You mean since 8:00 this morning? None that I know of." I try to remain in good humor, but it isn't easy some days.

Finally, it is time. They're going to give me something. Either a bag of dripping fluids, a shot of heperin in the gut, and most recently an injection of Neulasta. What is Neulasta®? "Neulasta® is a prescription medicine called a white cell booster that helps reduce the risk of infection (initially marked by fever) in patients with some tumors receiving strong chemotherapy that decreases the number of infection-fighting white blood cells. A sufficient white blood cell count may enable your doctors to administer chemotherapy according to their treatment schedule."

This according to their website.

Now every time somebody wants to give me a shot of something, they have to explain the side effects to me. It reminds me sometimes of all those television ads that talk sweetly and serenely about all the good benefits of the drug, whatever it is. Then in a panicky, gotta get it all into the ad in less than 5 seconds, they rattle off the side effects which may include vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, heart failure, and in some cases even death. Of course, you should ask your doctor if (insert whatever drug you want to here) is right for you.

So the other day, I got out of the hospital and the oncologist told me my white cells were a little low and he wanted me to come back the next day for an injection of Neulasta. SO I came home, brought up their website and looked for the possible side effects. These include:

What are possible serious side effects of Neulasta®? Spleen Rupture. Your spleen may become enlarged and can rupture while taking Neulasta®. A ruptured spleen can cause death. The spleen is located in the upper left section of your stomach area. Call your doctor right away if you have pain in the left upper stomach area or left shoulder tip area. This pain could mean your spleen is enlarged or ruptured. A serious lung problem called acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). Call your doctor or seek emergency care right away if you have shortness of breath, trouble breathing, or a fast rate of breathing. Serious Allergic Reactions. Neulasta® can cause serious allergic reactions. These reactions can cause shortness of breath, wheezing, dizziness, swelling around the mouth or eyes, fast pulse, sweating, and hives. If you start to have any of these symptoms, call your doctor or seek emergency care right away. If you have an allergic reaction during the injection of Neulasta®, stop the injection. Call your doctor right away. Sickle Cell Crises. You may have a serious sickle cell crisis if you have a sickle cell disorder and take Neulasta®. Serious and sometimes fatal sickle cell crises can occur in patients with sickle cell disorders receiving Filgrastim, a medicine similar to Neulasta®. Call your doctor right away if you have symptoms of sickle cell crisis such as pain or difficulty breathing. What are the most common side effects of Neulasta®? The most common side effect you may experience is aching in the bones and muscles. If this happens, it can usually be relieved with a nonaspirin pain reliever, such as acetaminophen.

More information than you wanted I'm sure, and I can assure you, a whole hell of a lot more information that I wanted.

So the next day, I report for my dose. The nurse rattles off the "most common side effects" but not all the others, thank goodness. Then she asked me where I wanted it. Well, not really knowing where she was planning it, I asked her, "Well, as long as I don't have to drop my trousers, I don't really care, but since you are asking, where is the most common place to give it?" "Well," she said, "typically in the arm or the belly." Now, I went through daily heperin injections for a few weeks, every one in the belly and each one causing its own bruise. I decided that maybe I'd have it in the arm. She then informed me that a lot of her patients said that it didn't hurt as much if injected into the belly instead of the arm. "Well, okay, then. Let's go with the belly."

As she stuck me there was a slight stick and sting. Not so bad, really. Not nearly as bad as all those heperin shots. I lay there, staring at the celing and got to thinking once again about those side effects, and that got me to wondering about medical researchers and the development of drugs.

If the wonderful world of medicine is great, why can't they come up with an injection that the nurse can say, "Now this is going to sting at first and probably hurt like the dickens while I'm giving it to you. But don't worry, the only side effect of this drug is that it is going to make you feel like you are laying on a warm sunny beach in Maui for the next two days."

I'm waiting.

12 March 2012

Boothby is Cooking Again

So I got up and went to treatment this morning and celebrating the fact I only had a single appointment today, came back home. I am feling pretty alright this morning, so was going to bake a pie with the Rome Beauty apples I'd bought Saturday. Having tasted one, though, they were a little on the dry side, so figured I'd make some applesauce. Then I got to looking at the Lover's Marmalade I made on Saturday and thought I might as well use up the rest of the bag of those, too. After quartering the apples and peeling the oranges, I got to thinking that maybe I could make something a little more long-lasting, and something I could share with a couple of friends. At first, I thought I'd do some Mandarin Apple Butter, but the more I thought about it, the more I thought I really liked those little mandarin peels in what I did Sauturday, so I modified it just a little bit and this is what I came up with.

(Donald Boothby – March, 2012)

3 pounds Rome Beauty apples (about 5 med sized)
6-8 small mandarin oranges (add a few extra if eliminating the grapefruit)
1 grapefruit
Juice from 1 or 2 small lemons (1/4 cup)
1 cup water 4 cups sugar 1 stick cinnamon (more if desired)
Core the apples, leaving the peels on. Cut into large chunks and place in medium sized sauce pan with 1 cup water and juice from the lemons. Bring to a quick boil and turn down to low/medium heat for about 20 minutes, stirring frequently.

Once the apples have cooked down, remove from heat and immediately run through food mill, discarding the peels. This should yield about 4 cups. Add a little water if needed to get up to needed volume. Peel the mandarins, leaving the peels in as big of chunks as possible. Cut peels into very thin julienne strips and cut to the desired length. Set the peeling aside. Peel the grapefruit, removing the white fibrous membrane on the outside and removing any seeds from both the grapefruit and the mandarins.

Place the prepared citrus (if doing again, I think I’d add more orange and eliminate the grapefruit) into a blender and pulverize well. Should net 2 cups of finished pulp. Add more oranges if necessary to get up to the needed volume. Mix the oranges and peel into the bowl with the seived apples. You really don't have to do this, it's just pretty.

Place apples, sugar, citrus, stick of cinnamon and peel into deep, heavy bottom kettle and bring to a rapid, hard boil for 5 minutes, stirring constantly.

Reduce heat to low/medium and cook approximately 40 minutes, stirring frequently (use large wooden spoon if you can) until it reaches the jelly stage (begins to sheet of the spoon). Time will vary by the amount of pectin in the apples you are using. Place finished marmalade into sterilized ½ pint jelly jars and seal with new lids and rings.

YIELD: 3 pints.

If you like to keep the marmalade nice pretty reddish-orange, use stick cinnamon. If you want it to be more “apple butter” colored, add 1 – 2 tsp. ground cinnamon instead of the stick cinnamon. You don’t have to use Rome Beauty, either. I chose them mostly for their color, but if you use Granny Smith, Fuji, Pacific Rose or other variety, you will get a lighter and more yellow-orange color instead of the deep reddish orange I got.

NOTE: I don’t water bath my jams and jellies. I know all the cookbooks will tell you to, but I’ve been making this kind of stuff for over 30 years and have never had a sealed jar go bad on me. If you are the scientific type who believes in doing everything by the strictest food regulation rules, then water bath the finished jam for 20 minutes.

03 March 2012

The Hunter - A Dream of Healing

In my dream last night, I was traveling on the train to Canada. I had been assigned to go up and inspect a piece of mining equipment that failed and found myself sitting with a family of First Nations people consisting of a young woman, three children and a very old man. His skin was deeply tanned and wrinkled, his eyes were bright and sparkled when he spoke.

We were exchanging pleasantries and the family told me the following story.

The old man had once been a part of a community in a remote section of Canada in which his community made its living and sustenance hunting and trapping. For centuries they had lived this way and until very recently had been a very prosperous people. When young boys became of age, they were taken out into the wilderness and left overnight. In the morning, when they awoke, there would either be an arrow or a rolled fur laying next to where they slept. If an arrow, the young boy was taken into training by the elder hunters and trained in the skills of hunting. If the young boy was visited with a rolled fur, then he would be taken in by the trappers who would teach their skills to him. In this way, the community was able to always have enough meat to feed themselves and enough furs to trade and purchase the other things they needed to live.

When the old man was young he, like all the other boys in the village was taken out to the appointed spot in the woods and left with a small bundle and told to pray and fast and return to the village the next day. The next morning, however, he had been visited by neither an arrow nor a fur bundle. Instead, when he awoke, he discovered a small fox had curled up next to him and fallen fast asleep. He was very sad because this meant that he could never be either a hunter or trapper for his people. As he returned to the village, though, the fox followed him. At the edge of the village, the fox ran off back into the woods and the young boy was left to tell the elders his sad tale.

In actuality, he became both a hunter and a trapper, but was given a special gift. When his family needed meat, he went out to hunt and always came home with an animal. He never needed a weapon, as an animal would seek him out and after they met, would voluntarily give its life to the young hunter. When the family needed furs to trade in the market, the young boy was dispatched to bring back furs and in the same way, the animals would voluntarily give of themselves.

Over the years, the young man’s prowess became known throughout the region. The meat he brought back was always the most tender and freshest and of the best quality because the animal was at peace when it gave its life. His furs became famous because they never had trap markings or holes in them from where an arrow had pierced the flesh.

Eventually, the young man left the village and sought to go out into the greater world to discover what was beyond the village’s known world. I never found out why exactly he left or where he had been all these many years but he had recently been called back to the village by the current elders as the village had fallen on bad times.

Over the years, the village had fallen into a state of disrepair. The hunters and trappers had difficulty finding enough meat and furs to both sustain their families and trade with other villages. Many of the men had given up in despair and turned to alcohol which became a serious problem for not just the men, but for the young people. The women were experiencing an increase in difficulty with childbirth and had trouble maintaining the family in the old ways and there seemed to be nothing to replace the old ways with except hopelessness. The village dogs had gone wild and formed packs that would attack small children and all in the village were afraid of them.

I decided to accompany the old man and his young family back to the village, thinking I would come back to my professional work soon enough. When we left the train, we had to travel a great distance overland in southwest British Columbia until we came to a place where we had to catch a small, open-deck ferry across the water to another piece of land. From there we had to walk a good distance before we finally saw the village in the distance.

Suddenly there was a great noise as a pack of wild dogs rushed at us. The mother shielded her children, but the old man simply sat down in the middle of the road. As the dogs came nearer, they calmed and one slowly and with great caution approached us until he was nearly nose to nose with the old man. Sniffing, he sat down. The old man reached out and touched his head. As the two touched, a hummingbird landed on the dog’s head. It was 4:10 pm.

At the same time this happened, I received a text message on my phone from Mimi wishing I was home because the most incredible thing had just happened. She had captured a lovely picture of it. On our front porch, a large, boxer-type dog was sitting calmly with a hummingbird on its head.

There were sightings from all over North America at precisely the same time with dogs sitting peacefully as hummingbirds lit on their heads.

The man rose and calmly led the dogs and his family back into the village where there was a great healing amongst the people.

When I awoke, I lay for a long time re-playing this dream in my head, and a great calm washed over me as I finally drifted back to sleep.

NOTE: Paintings are by Mimi Boothby