As we lie in Stacy Lyn’s sock drawer in the dead of winter, our thoughts wander back to this past summer when Stacy Lyn took us on a little jaunt north to Arkansas where she and Norm visited their dear friends Rhonda and David.
After spending a relaxing evening in Russellville (and after a fabulous meal, for Rhonda is an expert cook and hostess), the foursome trekked up Petit Jean Mountain to marvel in the wonders of man and nature. Funny, but the locals pronounce the very French name in the very un-French manner, “Petty Gene.”
At the top of the mountain, nature had reclaimed the artwork of mankind, and the ruins of an old stone building beckon the imagination. What were the lives like of the people who built this place? They laughed and cried, felt joy and sorrow, lived and died, to be sure. But at what did they laugh? Who made them cry? We’re just a pair of Socks, but these were the ruminations dancing in Stacy Lyn’s head as she gazed upon the wonder.
Stacy Lyn continued to wander around the park, admiring the vistas – the creations of nature. Trees. Rocks. Waterfalls. The Arkansas River. There at the edge of the mountain, perched on the promontory was the final resting place of Petit Jean, the park’s namesake.
The question Stacy Lyn asked herself (she’s always doing that) was, Is Petit Jean really here? Legend says that she was buried here, and though no one knows if that’s true or not, that wasn’t really the question. The question was, IS she here? Where do we go when we die? If our bodies are returned to the earth, do our spirits remain in that place, or are we free to roam?
It really doesn’t matter if Petit Jean is here or not. And it doesn’t really matter if she ever was. That she existed and left an indelible mark on the memories of those who followed – that is what matters most. In this world, memories are all that are left when we depart, so we should strive to make them good ones. This day in July was a memory of friends, a little woman of a different era, the beauty of nature and mankind, and the ephemeral journey of life.
Well, that’s what Stacy Lyn was thinking when she paid her respects to Petit Jean. We, her Traveling Socks, were just keeping her feet warm.