Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Beautiful But Deadly... Again

Since my plans were to spend the first half of yesterday's Victoria Day holiday hiking through the mountain trails around Lynn Valley, I had to skip my daily morning habit of browsing through online newspapers over breakfast and coffee. If I had followed my usual routine, I would have learned of the park's tragic news from the day before:

A six-year-old boy has died after falling into North Vancouver's Lynn Creek, near the popular Lynn Valley Suspension Bridge. Corporal Marlene Morton of the North Vancouver RCMP said the boy fell in around 2 p.m. yesterday.
Cpl. Morton said it's not yet known exactly how the boy ended up in the water. By the time rescuers pulled him out, the boy had been in the creek for about an hour.
Cpl. Morton said the child was airlifted to BC Children's Hospital with his stepmother by his side. He was in cardiac arrest when taken to hospital.
He was only wearing beige pants when he was swept downstream toward the suspension bridge. North Shore Search and Rescue scoured the area by helicopter.
And so that rugged park claims another life; it seems like only yesterday, but it was last year that we blogged about another death at that river, further north from where this weekend's fatal accident occured. Every such death is a tragedy, but given the young age of this latest victim, and his being just a few weeks short of his next birthday... this news is grim indeed. I can't imagine the mother's pain right now, seeing her young son off for an awe-inspiring holiday adventure that morning, only to get a phone call later in the afternoon, explaining why the son would not be coming home.

There are a few memorials already at the park, tucked here and there, small tributes to many other young lives taken throughout the years by the unforgiving waters of Lynn Creek. They all break your heart to read, with their eloquent mixture of grief, regret and gratitude; gratitude for having had the blessing of their dearly missed loved ones in their family's lives, even if for so shortened a time. Their messages leave you in awe of the power of the terrain around you, and even more respectful of the power of the human heart; its capacity to grow strong enough in time to dare to continue its loving connection with those around it... despite the risk.

Godspeed to this young man's family, may they one day again come to know peace.

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