The Journal of Leonard M Hawkes

Legend of The Heart of The Forest
02/27/2017 04:51 a.m.
In the beginning, Mother Earth and Father Sky came together in Creation.
The plan for their work was written in the sky, as it is today; and a place was made for their many children.
Some of their children lived in the water.
Some spent most of their time in the air.
Some lived in the earth.
Some, like us, moved about on the surface of the earth.
And to help us remember the days of this creation, Father Sky and Mother Earth created children with their feet planted firmly in the earth and their heads and arms reaching Fatherward to the sky.
These, the tallest of their children, would live together near the Sea. The Sea would water them with his mists, and cool them with his breezes.
And because these special ones marked the union of Father Sky and Mother Earth; Father Sky determined that these children could live forever.
To help them do this, Mother Earth gave them thick shaggy coats of bark to protect them from insects and from wild fires.
Father Sky taught their roots to grow wide and to twine themselves together, that the strong may support the weak.
And because like all children of Father Sky and Mother Earth, they must render themselves useful; should the main trunk of one be taken, a circle of children would spring up from the roots to remember and perpetuate the one who had given his life.
Father Sky and Mother Earth also taught these children to multiply with seeds. But to remind us that from small things even the greatest and tallest may grow, they made their cones small, and their life-bearing seeds even smaller.
- - - - - - - - - - - - -
Here at Camp Cutter we live among these special children, and many, many thousands of years have passed since first they were placed here.
Storms have battered them.
Fires have singed their thick brown coats.
Earthquakes have nearly shaken them to their knees;
And partly because of the earthquakes, many have been taken from here to render themselves useful in other places.
Not far from here stands one who has perhaps been here from the beginning. Just as Father Sky and Mother Earth determined, he is rooted firmly and widely in this mountain soil above the sea, and his head and arms reach so far toward heaven, we cannot see their end. He is the ancient "heart of our forest."
Unfortunately (or fortunately, for this may have spared him from being one of the taken), Fire has gouged out a portion of his heart. You will be able to stand within him—your heart beating as his heart.
As you do this, I would ask you to remember this legend.
Remember that you, as one of the children of Father Sky and Mother Earth, too must render yourself useful. And as you make your heart today “the heart of the forest,” may you forever afterward remember to love and recognize, respect and protect these and other great monuments of Creation.

I am listening to 4/21/14 preparation for Camp Cutter

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152nd Anniversary of the Bear River Massacre 29 January 2015
02/04/2015 05:02 a.m.
I came up to Preston to commemorate the massacre. I contemplated taking off school to do this in the past, but of course I never did. Now that I'm retired. . . .

The day is warm and foggy. I'm suffering from a cold. . . I'm parked almost in the same place I parked to paint last week; it's always strangely nice to be inside one of my own paintings--a place of now some intimacy.

Driving up, I thought of other historical massacres (Romans over the Gauls and Britains, Germans over the Romans, The 30 Years War and the 80 Years War, World War's One and Two)and how as a result of them my blood and culture is "mixed." To commemorate is very "human" (perhaps divine), but equally true is the fact that God remolds the shattered aftermath of such a disaster and creates that which is even greater and better--his purposes will be fulfilled. Yes, and speaking "in faith," the metaphor carries over into our individual lives.
I am currently Thoughtfull
I am listening to My new grandson and his father

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A New Water Era Begins for Beaver Dam, Box Elder, Utah
08/16/2012 06:05 a.m.
It's been an interesting summer. The past 48 hours sum up its uniqueness, I think. On Monday afternoon I went to Idaho Falls. My destination really was Kilgore, Idaho, but due to my late departure from Beaver Dam and my fondness for the South Tourist Park, I camped the night at the South Tourist Park. It's located on a dammed portion of the Snake River--a lovely lake really--just over 100 yards wide. It's grassy with trees--appropriately named a park. I slept "under the stars" (though there were none--too much smoke in the air from the many wildfires here in the west--we're surrounded by them) not ten feet away from the river.

I went on the trip because I was bored, lonely, and it's the end of the summer (school meetings start next week); it's become a tradition for me to go to Kilgore this time of year. Actually, I spent my first night in the Kilgore area at a windy desolate rest stop just west of Dubois, ID (on I-15 just south of the Monida Pass), and I've yet to spend a night camped at Kilgore. On the way up, I kept hoping for a hitchhiker for some conversation, but when I got to the Tourist Park and settled in, I encountered two guys I'd met on an earlier excursion (one, I actually met the first time at Stinky Springs. I was intrigued by him because he had obviously had two hernia surgeries, like me), and then I met "the old guy from Texas" (the phrase offended him). He took a liking to my "obviously educated level of experience and sophistication" (I was complimented by his phrase).

Tuesday I got up early and was at the trail head for Aldous Lake in the Centennial Mountains of Idaho-Montana by 9:30 a. m. My intention was to hike the 1.3 miles to the lake and back for my daily walk. But no one else was there. As I checked the trail head log, no one had been there for several days. I rigged a "bear bell" out of a tin and some gravel and started along the trail, I suppose I had gone about 1/4 mile when I started "feeling creepy" and remembering the stupidity of hiking alone in bear country, so I turned around and went back to the parking lot and finished my walk in that general area--all 2 1/2 miles of it, asking myself if I was "chicken" or "wise." I next drove back to where I had driven last year (I came up Cottonwood Creek this year, East Camas Creek last year)to Hirshi Flat (named for Jan's great-grandfather) where I spent the next two hours making a pastel sketch of the scene across the flat looking east toward hazy mountains (again, the wildfire smoke still is thick enough to almost give me asthma). I had been in the mountains the entire morning and had seen no one. But overall the mountains were very friendly (it's funny how Nature can welcome you or turn you the cold shoulder. I felt very welcomed). The area is similar to the Yellowstone country I know and love so well, but dryer. Most of the conifers are Douglas Firs--one of my favorites from here in Utah. I take pride in the fact that the old part of our house is built from rough cut "red pine"--Douglas Fir.

When I had exhausted the possibilities of a good sketch, I stretched, looked around, and then drove back down the East Camas Creek Road to Kilgore (about 20 minutes) and then west to Spencer, where I bought Jan some junk opal for her 2nd grade rock unit. From there, after a brief (I was starving by then) stop in Dubois for snacks, I drove back to Idaho Falls where I had Mongolian barbeque and then went to the book store (always looking for Herman Hesse, good poetry books, and mysteries by Ellis Peters (and found all three). By the way, I listened to some thunderous classical music and some John Denver as I was driving.

Back at the Tourist Park, the old guy from Texas (whose name I never asked for nor received) was still there and for the next hour or so, he about talked my ear off. He was full of both stories and opinions. In some ways he reminded me of Delose--though he did swear, not really a lot, but more than I'm used to. It was about 8:00 p.m. and I wanted to walk off some of my Mongolian, so I made and excuse and drove downtown Idaho Falls and walked a good mile. The river walk there is pleasant (though under construction). I think that part of Idaho Falls is perpetually under construction. The river itself was under construction for years, and now they're doing something to the road. When I returned back to the Tourist Park, I set up my bed in the back of the truck, talked with a young fat-ugly kid (though he was sincerely friendly), visited again with the hernia guy who was passing through, but then ended up again listening to the old guy from Texas. This time, however, in the end, he made the excuse and drove down by the boat dock. I finished getting ready for bed. Just before I actually turned in for the night, he came by to say good by and thanked me again for my good company. "I've talked to you so much, I've almost lost my voice!" I took it as a sincere compliment.

This morning I got up at 5:00 a. m., packed my simple camping gear, bought gas and a portable breakfast at the Maverik, and headed back to Utah as fast as I dared. I got home about 8:00, showered, shaved, and got ready for the Student Council Meeting at 9:00. About 8:15 I got a text that said the meeting would be at 10:00 and that we would make "Welcome Back Posters." That gave me an extra hour, so I took a "power nap." I needed one. I was at the high school by 10:00 a. m., got them making posters, and then left for Brigham. I had a "date" with my mother at 10:45. Aunt Anna (a favorite aunt) was up from Phoenix, AZ. She comes up seldom, and often just visits her son Valden in Salt Lake City, and doesn't do more than call Uncle Grant. But this year, we met at the Bejing Buffet ("The Bug Place") in Brigham. The core Bowen Group was there: Ellen and Ruth Anne, and their terminally ill brother and his wife, Marie and Darnell, Linda and Donald, their brother Bryce, Uncle Grant and Aunt Lu, Cousin Cathy and her twins, and Lawrence and I and Mother. Aunt Anna came with both Valden (and his wife) and Cory (who I haven't seen in years). I saw her fighting back the tears twice as she visited with everyone. She made it a point to visit with everyone. The food was good. The spirit was good. Only Mother seemed a bit "up-tight." It was an appropriately pleasant Bowen gathering.

This afternoon, after I took mother home, I came home and slept in front of the air conditioner. I really didn't sleep well that first night in the Tourist Park. Last night was just short, but I only woke up once in the night. I gazed out over the water toward downtown--the temple dominant in the skyline. It was cool in Idaho. There was a breeze along the river, and I do think the park was more quiet than usual.

Morgan stopped in after work (about 3:30 and updated me on his progress with his noise and supplemental props for the production "Legend of Sleepy Hollow." Jan got home about 5:00 and then went to Zoomba (she's working on her weight). I watched the news, checked the computer, (yes, dozed a little too), and then went walking down along the canal just after 8:00 p. m. I have little tolerance for the heat of the day. In my mind I kept comparing this walk to walking along a canal in the Netherlands. We're so dry here this year. I saw no one, heard nothing but birds and water and farm noises down in the fields along the river, and also thought about what scout fun we could have in some of the places along the canal. I walked 3 miles.

When I got back home, it was nearly news time. I watched the 10 o'clock news, watered the plants in my planters on the porches, took out the garbage (tomorrow morning early the garbage truck comes), and finally filled up two jugs of water for tomorrow--at last they are going to hook up the new water system. Tomorrow begins a new water era for the community of Beaver Dam, Box Elder, Utah (meanwhile my yard's a dried out mess from undependable water and water pressure all this summer, what isn't dried out has been eaten by inch-and-a-half-long grasshoppers or dug up by the process of putting in the new water line--I told Aunt Anna, all of those bad things they say about Beaver Dam were true this summer), and yes, school meetings start on Monday--the "real end of summer."
I am currently Tired
I am listening to air conditioner noise

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Thoreau Day 2011
07/13/2011 05:44 a.m.
It's Thoreau Day (Henry's Birthday) and St. Erasmus Day (Erasmus' Death Day) as I also intend to call it. The sun is near setting, and a nearly full moon has risen in the Southeast.

I am impressed by the lush summer beauty of our valley. The late mountain snows, and heavy spring rains have increased the green and the growth. I feel blessed and thankful and "my soul (through the beauty of nature) doth magnify the Lord."

I'm still moved by the richness of last week's trip through Idaho and Montana to Alberta and British Columbia. Again, the wealth of Nature working in my heart, and to have stood at Great-Great-Grandfather Wight's grave in Cardston last Tusedy, and then seeing Great-Great-Grandma Wight depicted in the movie Seventeen Miracles on Saturday too says something to me about heritage, scacrifice, thankfulness and present-living conditions.

And now today they placed the Angel Moroni on the highest (Eastern) spire of the "being constructed" Brigham City Temple. It happend with difficulty from wind (We had rain this morning--light and warm, but I seldom walk my morning two miles on this day in the rain as I did today).

Cathy called this evening. She says there's still plenty of snow and mosquitoes at Camp Loll, but she said things are going as well as can be expected. So many years, when I think of camp, I feel myself connected and almost sense a part of me still up there--but not this year. It's been happening over the course of many years, but I've felt myself separating from both the place and the people--the life. (And I admit, I feel much the same about my place at Bear River.) I hope that it's age and that other things, other gifts and influences will fill in. It's always seemed that when one door closes, another opens.

Mom, Jan, and I had lunch today at Maddox with the Hawkes uncles and aunts (those that are left). It sometimes seems unreal that that aged and megre group is all that's left of the core of the family. We cousins are scattered and hardly know each other any more. I'll have to stop at Mike's and Dan's shop on the way up or back from Loll. It's become part of the summer tradition (though it too sometimes seems a bit "empty").

I've done nothing with art this summer. Actually, I did one lousy sketch of the Promontories from the west side, but it was so buggy with "no-see-ems" I just quit. And because it was bad, I didn't have much encouragement by it.

Tomorrow morning I have Student Council Meeting. I've missed as much as I've gone this summer--but we're all similar attendees during the summer. And school will be upon us soon.
I am currently Reflective
I am listening to "I Love Lucy" on TV

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Patriotic Thought for 4th of July 2011
07/01/2011 06:13 a.m.
Patriotic Minute (Plan B)
Beaver Ward 4th of July 2011

I was a little boy in the 1950’s, and one of our favorite games was “war.” And we knew about war; this was only about 10 years after the end of World War II, and though we hadn’t witnessed the war ourselves, we had heard stories about it; not necessarily from our fathers or grandfathers who had fought in the great wars--my own father, for example, never spoke of his war experiences until many decades later--but as children we heard about the war from our mothers, who had read of its horrors in letters from loved ones, who had seen its atrocities in news reels, or had heard of its awful truths over the radio.

My father fought in Europe. In my mind I had a vision of him in those foxholes we’d seen in war movies, somewhere in Germany. The Germans were the enemy, surely the fighting was in Germany. But years later, when I was a missionary in the southern most part of the Netherlands, I found out that those foxholes where my father had spent that cold “Hungry Winter” of 1944-45, were not Germany at all, but just across the border from Germany in that same part of the Netherlands where I was serving. My father’s battlefield was now less than 30 years later, my mission field. I too was serving the people whom he had served.

Some years later, I had the opportunity to visit with my father and mother that immaculate American Cemetery near Maastricht where the fallen from those battles were buried. Later, we also stood on that road beside the Rur River in Germany, where in March of 1945, American blood had literally flowed in the mud. And I heard my father speak of the events of that terrible but decisive battle that broke the German strength and allowed the Second Army to rush onward toward the Rhine, and finally in May to the Oder River where the German command surrendered to the Americans, bringing the war in Europe to an end.

Again, in a relatively short time, less than 30 years, my father’s battlefield had literally become my mission field. Two generations of an American family rescuing and blessing people, in this case the people of the Southern Netherlands, but rescuing and blessing in two very different ways. And surely it’s only a matter of time until this same American miracle will happen in Iraq, in Afghanistan, perhaps Libya, and any other country where Americans are called to serve.

“Oh beautiful for heroes proved in liberating strife,
Who more than self their country loved, and mercy more than life!
America! America! My God thy gold refine,
Till all success be nobleness, and every gain divine.

“Oh beautiful for patriot dream that sees beyond the years
Thine alabaster cities gleam, undimmed by human tears!
America! America! God shed his grace on thee,
And crown thy good with brotherhood from sea to shining sea.”
I am currently Reflective
I am listening to the T V

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12/31/2010 07:01 a.m.

Nearly alone on the streets—
No longer a neighborhood for walking—
Though certainly built for such—
I walk my route briskly north
On South Arthur to the bank—east
Then northward down Main Street:
Yellowstone Hotel, all but abandoned,
The Station devoid of passengers.
Surrounded by ghosts I remember
The commerce and bustle of 50’s,
The decline of the 60’s and 70’s,
The disease and the demise of the 80’s
And attempted resurrections ever since.
The place was frontier when they came,
Surrounded by Indian Lands (Stolen
From Indian hands if the truth is known.)
And the first wife wouldn’t stay—
Short-sighted and faithless, I’ve thought—
Took the daughter and returned to England
Leaving Grandpa and Uncle Joe behind.
And the family of the lovely third wife,
Raised here by the cantankerous fourth wife,
Grew with the city and prospered,
Multiplied, then scattered away—
Beyond the truth of memory—
Insensitive to the power of poesy.
Nearly alone on the streets—
No longer a neighborhood for walking—
Surrounded by ghosts I remember . . . .

I am currently Nostalgic
I am listening to Classical (as usual)

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Weariness in Well-Doing
11/05/2010 03:33 a.m.
November is always a meditative month, I often turn to poetry; but last night I found another solace: a pseudo-campout in my own yard. No, not for my benefit; we did the road cleanup for Scouts (from the church up to the corner of Highway 30 and Beaver Dam Road), and I prepared it for them. I made a Limburgse Vlaai (blueberry with almonds and plenty of "floof"), then lit the fire I've been stacking in the back firepit for much of the summer, moved the picnick table closer, and finally hung the Coleman lantern from one of the Box Elders. As the fire crackled and the lantern hissed, I suddenly felt even more at home at home. A feeling of calm and solid contentment seemed to fill me. I felt like I really could go on (for who knows how long) with Troop 136: this really was me. I thought, "If I ever turn into a crazy old man (which I very well could), I bet I'd calm down and show my normal side if they just sat me down by a campfire. And they'd say, 'Notice how he's calmed down and seems more like his own self, here around the fire. I guess those things you do for so many years remain with you inside, even when the mind and body get old and fall apart.'" And I do think my body remembers the serenity of the camp life and the celestial light generated in the sparks of a campfire; it was as much a physical calm as it was a mental respite. Yes, and the kids liked it after the road cleanup, and they ate all of the Vlaai (Brother Roberts ate his share too--perhaps our last time working together in such a setting), and we played "Jack's Alive" around the fire, and closed with the Scout Oath, the Scout Law, and a prayer "to get us all home safely"--oh that perilous, trecherous road away from Church, and I only had to stay comfortably at home.
I am currently Tired
I am listening to Switched on Bach

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Foreword (to my poetry)
10/30/2010 05:07 a.m.
We all live many lives:
Yet as a Christian,
I strive for Eternal Life—
Possible only through the
Blood of the Lamb of God—
That cup drunk too for me.

I do not plead innocence,
Nor deny persistent weakness
(I am but a Son of Adam);
Judgment be eternally His.

But should you come to view
Or even read into these lines,
I offer only this: My Sight
In an earthly pursuit of Him.

I am currently Insecure
I am listening to Classical--as usual

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Draft Journal Poem on a Trip Up the Bear River (UT, ID, WY, UT)
08/22/2010 04:54 a.m.
Up The Bear

Slow, green, nearly channel-less with reeds,
Carp infested, spattered with salt cedar;
But for the diked manipulations of "man,"
Choked with salt brine into which it flows.

Now creeping through well established bottomland:
Stable banks mark the edges of fields
Weedy non-natives hold firm the slipery clay;
Its rhythm irrigation and power.

Then stagnant and shallow and polluted:
Culter Marsh: recreation for locals,
And an unpleasant, honest reflection
Of an agricultural past in Cache Valley.

But beyond Preston, approaching The Narrows,
Large, flowing clear, filled with trout
Reminiscent perhaps of Liechtenstein's Rhine
Yet, geothermally warmed by Mother Earth.

And those same forces formed the Black Canyon
Turning her southward from the Portneuf,
Near Sheep Rock and Beer Springs, still another dam,
Round the mountains that for her are named.

Measured again, controlled and canalled
Blended with water from “the lake,” but once
A wild oasis of the Oregon Trail, Bridger’s bullboat path,
Passage to the Shoshone winter valley.

Then harsh, bleak and open, with high squared rocky buttes,
Hay land, good grazing for cattle; very Wyoming
With cottonwood groves, and south
Bare Uintas in Utah haze.

On the edge of the bad lands below the high mountains
Evanston still splits the trail: railroad and freeway
Lie west down the Weber,
Yet the Bear forms the heart of the town.

Wide, wild and rocky it ambles through the ranchland,
Upward through aspen parks to pines,
Pocked by recreation, too scarred by the scouts,
And finally to summer ice and stone.

Eastward the pink-purple quartzite thrusts up,
Westward a bald boldered knob,
Gouged once by glaciers, now skirted with fir,
A mere meadow of sedge, shrub and flowers.

I am currently Reflective
I am listening to the clock strike eleven

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Camp Loll and Yellowstone Again
02/08/2010 06:02 a.m.

8 February 2010

P.O. Box 168
Yellowstone National Park
Wyoming 82190

Dear Superintendent Lewis:

I am a veteran educator of over thirty years and a scouter of close to fifty years. With this career combination I have been privileged to spend many of my summers at Camp Loll, a camp located just south of Yellowstone Park. As a result of a lawsuit driven by the Sierra Club, the Boy Scouts are now required to obtain Commercial Use Authorization permits. In crafting our permit, the Concessions Division of Yellowstone has included stipulations that will essentially exclude the scouts of Camp Loll from using the Bechler Corner of the Yellowstone back country.

For over a decade now, Camp Loll has worked very closely with the park and a very amicable Bechler Head Ranger to ensure that scouts who visit the park are properly trained in back country use and are properly supervised. Similarly, Camp Loll has adhered to park standards and regulations and has helped in revegetation, trail maintenance, and any other measure that would prevent or diminish our possible impact on the park.

The future of Yellowstone, of the Park Service, of America, is our youth. Any measure that reduces their park experience, prohibits hands-on learning, not to mention excluding them from wilderness experience is short-sighted and wrong.

As the wise guardian of The Park that you are, I ask that you modify points seven and eight on our permit, to allow Yellowstone National Park and Camp Loll to continue its training of America's youth in both the love of Yellowstone and in the proper use of this national treasure.


Leonard M. Hawkes

I am currently Frustrated
I am listening to The sound of the wood stove

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