By Ashley Lodato
With all the big, scary, and heartbreaking things happening around us, it’s still important to think about the small stuff. I was reminded of this by a fellow hiker I encountered on Sunday, who shared a story from his recent near-epic adventure.
This frequent valley visitor from Seattle was hiking with his two young sons near Copper Pass when his 7-year-old was stung by wasps seven times. The family had forgotten their Epi-Pen and Benadryl at home, and this omission nearly became a costly one as everyone watched hives spread across the boy’s chest and his breathing become compromised. Fortunately they were able to get the youngster out to the Family Health Centers clinic in Twisp and all ended well, but the dad sends out a reminder to all of us to stay focused, make lists, and remember the things that matter.
Before Celestial Cinema on Saturday night, I was talking with the event’s founder, Sarah Berns, about the crazy wind, smoke, the power outage, and general fire danger and concerns. I said something to Sarah like “I don’t think Celestial Cinema tonight will look like the poster, but it will still be good.”
How wrong I was — not about it being good, but about it not looking like the poster (which is a simple black background with a spray of stars). Because when darkness fell, as if on cue, the wind ceased to a whisper, the sky was as inky as I’ve ever seen it — even more so without any ambient light from nearby buildings — it seemed as if every star in the sky twinkled brightly, and the Milky Way was milkier than ever. It looked exactly like the poster.
Prior to the film, the Celestial Cinema screen featured dance videos, where cartoon people danced onscreen to music and people (mostly kids) in the audience watched the screen and tried to mimic the moves. In the car on the way home the kids were arguing about what, exactly, the arm movements were supposed to be for the Village People’s “YMCA.”
I demonstrated (believe me, you don’t spend every Saturday afternoon in 1982 at the roller rink without perfecting the arm positions for “YMCA”), but they kept telling me I was wrong and showing me what they believed to be the correct position. When I finally said “Look, you’re spelling out ‘YMCA’ with your arms,” there was a stunned silence. And then 10-year-old Stella Scholz said in a voice of dawning recognition, “Oh, if we had known we were making the shapes of letters it would have been a lot easier.”
Here is the arm movement I’d like to send to people in Chelan, Bridgeport, Nespelem, Black Canyon, and so many other places: palm flat over heart: We’re thinking of you.