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any questions?

September 14, 2011

photo by Scott Hess

Last week, a dear man passed away. He was a treasure in our community and so many loved him. He helped create the Petaluma River Heritage Center celebrating the tidal estuary that runs right through our town. This body of water is located in the largest intact marsh in the nation, largely intact because of people like him. He established Friends of the Petaluma River, a river advocacy group. He was always on the water, on his boat, hunting ducks, and meditating with joy in our own local marsh wilderness. If he wasn’t on the river, he talked it up, and he sang and played roots music and danced beautifully. I wasn’t a part of his singing and dancing life, and I wish I had been!

A beautiful four day ceremonial fire burned for him at the River Heritage Center after he passed away. All could visit the fire in his honor over the four day period. I loved how hundreds of people celebrated and mourned him around this fire, but in an intimate setting of a few people, since everyone came at different times. It was a fitting memorial for him, this Native American ceremony, as he was very close to the land and was very involved in the local nature connection community. The fifth day, there was a community tree planting at the David Yearsley River Heritage Center, now named for him. Many friends, new and old were there and it segued naturally into a day of nature connection and boating for many.

While Lukie and Scott were off on the docks, I participated in one of the nature connection walks and gained a valuable insight. Questions. If you want to learn about nature (or anything) you don’t need answers, just questions. Keeping questions in your heart leads you to new questions and greater awareness. Answers will be drawn to you in their own time, in a powerful way. I am so fond of answers. Even this to me seems like an answer of sorts. But not a quick explanatory answer I could find, more of an answer that I have searched for and could not have found on my own.

David was a master of questions. He was able to convince anyone of anything with questions! He found love with a question. He enjoyed life by keeping the next question in mind and moving forward always. What a gift he gave all of us with his life and of course, he keeps giving, even after passing on, pushing us all forward with the next question. Thank you David.

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