Monday, December 10, 2007

The Landscape Has Changed

Recently I heard author Donald Miller (a fellow-Oregonian) describe the perfect arrival by air into the Portland International Airport. It always includes a sighting of Mount Hood—breathtakingly beautiful as she towers above the forest covered Cascades. She dominates the landscape. I can't count the times I have peered out the window of a home-bound plane hoping to catch a glimpse of her. A warm almost-home feeling comes over me whenever I do.

This past August, when I flew home to visit my parents in Portland, Mount Hood didn't disappoint. The skies were clear, and she was all a-glow in the late afternoon sun. Other passengers in the plane were completely enthralled. But for me, this time the sight of her was painful.

We flew past the north face, the site of Kelly's snow cave, and instead of admiring her beauty along with everyone else, I could only think of how treacherous she can be, the grief she represents, and the fact that even now, somewhere in her snowy skirts, she still is hiding Brian and Nikko.

Years ago, my mother gave me a book by Amy Carmichael, a missionary to India. Carmichael was a forerunner of those today who are rescuing women from sex trafficking. She devoted her life to the rescue of little girls who were being sold into temple prostitution by their destitute families. Her activities were permanently curtailed (taken up by others) when a tragic accident rendered her an invalid for the rest of her life. It was a terrible grief. From a bed of pain, she reflected on a spring landscape—a photograph of an old ruin on a hillside that was covered with cherry blossom trees. Her words mean a lot more to me now.

The trouble which grieved the night has not floated off on the wings of the morning. There has been a turning of the captivity and the hard weather has passed, but there is still something stark in our landscape, like the ruin in the midst of the white cherry. There is a fact, a memory . . . that strikes up and faces us wherever we look. That knot of painful circumstances . . . These things still are; it would be a kind of falsehood to act as though they were not.

—Amy Carmichael, Gold By Moonlight, (36).

Today marks a year since we first learned that Kelly was in trouble on Mount Hood. Some things will never be the same. Even the landscape is different now.

We are amazed that so many still visit this website—that so many are still praying for the families and for the unfinished search for Brian and Nikko. Thank you for your friendship and for remembering what we cannot forget.

Carolyn

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

I too was enthused by the hope the climbers would all be found safe. I followed the story closely. Then saddend that one would be already passed in the snow cave. Until that time last year I didn't even know what a snow cave was. I was wondering if anyone went back during the warm weather and looked anymore? My prayers are with the families.

Carolyn said...

Yes. They searched a couple of times this past summer when the snow levels were low. They found the gear that Kelly, Brian and Nikko stashed. But no sign of Brian or Nikko. You can see the report on the blog I posted on Saturday, July 21, just below.

Thank you for praying for the families.

Lark said...

I cannot believe it's been a year. I still check the blog and pray for everyone involved. I just want you all to know that we've not forgotten about you.
Lark Kelsey
Gainesville, Florida

TVTrayArt said...

We still hold you and your family in our prayers nightly Carolyn. I admit that when I see Mt. Hood covered in snow these days I think often about the two men left behind. We love you much!
Susan Nagai

QQ said...

Dear Carolyn, Yes, I still visit this website and see what is new. What is new really? I ponder.

Love in Christ,
helen qiu, professionalqiu@gmail.com