Coast Chronicles: 
Nest-building in Nahcotta

A hummingbird gathers nest materials.

I have been gobsmacked by the irony of these glorious, glorious days: the whiplash of the beauty of this spring compared with the recent and unrelenting emotional loss of important people in my life. First, my good friend, the brilliant poet/translator/publisher/editor and Copper Canyon Press founder Sam Hamill died one quiet day in April. Not two days later I heard that another wonderful (lithe and fit) Arizona friend, a birder and hiker, in the middle of a dinner party said, suddenly, “Oh no” and fell forward onto the table, dead.

To cap off this run — as my grandmother always said, “Things come in threes” — one of my buddies who graduated with me in the Pacific Lutheran University MFA program, not yet 50, died of myeloma with his wife and young kids beside him. (He had always shared his health struggles with us at PLU, even making his disease a character in a play he performed as part of his final thesis. He faced his death with humor and honesty.)

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