I suppose it’s no coincidence that I woke thinking of my friend Pete this morning. A year ago today we lost him – he, having given up on the world he inhabited and leaving those who loved him shocked and searching for answers.
There is a seat now for Pete at the edge of the point break where we all surfed with him, so Pete has a presence always in a place that he found peace. It is dark, solid, hand-carved wood, with knots and lines from the tree that once breathed life into a forest around it.
As I get older, I have lost more friends and acquaintances this way and talked to friends who have been scarred by such losses too. Later in the year the community I live in lost another Pete, one whose heart for conservation was bursting with a need to give and to help. It was such tragedy that nature could not help him, when he did so much for the natural world that so needed him.
When reporting the news, you learn that you are allowed only to type a simple phrase to describe the chaos that would have swirled inside this person, and the void they leave behind.
There were no suspicious circumstances.
That we should know how and when we will die, when we have no say in how and when we are born…
But then, death is never easy for those left behind and we can only wonder how it is for those gone.
Today became an opportunity to dance in view of the wooden seat overlooking the sea, Pete’s seat.
If you're spending a lot of your day in bare feet, then chances are you have found the kind of balance that Hook & Arrow writer Alison Smith has found in life.