Volume 12, Issue 17 ~ April 22-28, 2004
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Bay Reflections

At Home in this Space of Earth
by Albert ‘Abby’ Ybarra

Last Christmas, I left Chesapeake Country suddenly to return to California for the funeral of my sister, Esther — only 26 years old and recently married — who was killed in a traffic accident. My family has lived at the foot of the Tehachapi Mountains, east of Bakersfield, for a quarter century. In this special place, elevated some 3,000 feet, we gathered to find solace and deal with the loss of our dear sister.

For three nights, my brothers and a few close friends sat outside and prayed to the Father and Creator to understand it all. The night was cold, and from fallen oaks we built a sacred fire that kept us warm enough for the night. As we listened to the fire speak, as a holy fire will do, the evening also came alive with the animals of the night. They all sang. We heard the coyote and the owl as they sang to console our hearts.

Writer Ybarra and his son Diego climbing Eagle Peak in California’s dry Tehachapi Mountains.
This place is no longer my home, but I keep it in my heart. It is a special place warmed with the happiness of days gone by when my younger brothers and sister played on the trails of Eagle Peak. In my new home on Chesapeake Bay, I can still feel and see the beauty of my home some 3,000 miles away.

Returning then to Chesapeake Country, I realized that I gaze upon the natural beauty of this place with that same wonderful feeling of being home and at peace.

I have been three snows, as we call winters, in my new Bay town, and it’s clear to me that I will now call this wondrous body of water and surrounding land my home for a long time. My young ones have many more years in our local schools, and that means my personal involvement with the Bay will continue.

In spite of its sad occasion, my trip to the dry Tehachapi Mountains made me realize once again that there is always time for each of us to take a look at what we have. If we spend a few moments listening and watching the earth, maybe we will find that place in our hearts that tells us the right things to do. I have to thank the spirit of my sister and my little brothers for helping me see that there is nothing we cannot handle.

As a person who believes in prayer, I am hopeful. Hopeful that I will have something to hand off to my children some day. Just like that special place next to Eagle Peak, I am hopeful that one day they will pass off that special place we call home by the Bay.

© COPYRIGHT 2004 by New Bay Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved.
Last updated April 22, 2004 @ 1:20am.