We traveled a long distance by car to see you away, passing houses and barns and fields, water and rock. Entire communities contained, remembered in warm, elastic stories passed down. When we arrived the Chinook salmon were spawning in Kagawong, in the county where you were born. Maybe you knew this was their year to travel up the river until they reached their birthplace. We stood watching as they pushed their way through the shallow water, thrashing over large rocks before they weakened and let go. It seemed they did all of this with a measure of grace. You would've watched this many times.
The temperature dropped as we gathered, wind bending the tall grasses growing in the field bordering the cemetery. Later in the warmth of your kitchen old stories were lovingly retold and later still we traveled back home, first through driving rain and then under clearing skies, passing the same houses and barns and fields, water and rock. Entire communities framed in our windows for a split second, over and over until we reached home.