Wednesday, July 30, 2014

We Care

This is Mai David Huy Huynh.  He died this past Saturday after a tragic fall from Pospect Point onto the Stanley Park Seawall.  He had only a few courses left to complete his degree at UBC.  He was not only deeply loved but deeply admired.  Bill and I didn't know him, but yesterday, we read about the accident in the newspaper and it hit us hard.  We had biked around the seawall on Sunday, having no idea that, only the day before, someone had lost their life there.  My post today is for ABC Wednesday and celebrates the letter "C" but every photo, every word, every thought seems to link back to this fine young man.  In thinking of a "C" word, a simple one comes to mind.  We care.  Our heartfelt condolences go out to David's family and to the others in his life who knew and loved him.   
The care word links up to other words like community and compassion and culture and concern.  David was described in a post at the UBC Commerce Undergraduate Society site as "..above all kind-hearted."  This article about him highlights the strength and optimism that was an inherent part of his character.  In thinking about that, I came across this Charter for Compassion site.  There's a youtube of Israeli and Palestinian youth making music together.  These young people have seen way too many cothurnal situations (of like or pertaining to tragedy) but they refuse to let their lives be crushed into sadness.  I think, David would enjoy the life and hope in this video.   
After reading about David, Bill and I set out along the Cole Harbour bike path, thinking to stop for the second day in a row at Beaver Lake in Stanley Park.  We took a few moments along the way to give Black Jack a run.  She spends quite a bit of time riding with us in her basket, but I try to make sure she also has lots of opportunity to stretch her legs.  I love this comical photo of her with ears pinned back and intense focus in her eyes.
This carving is near the area where Black Jack had her run. 
I do not have a link for you, but some information about it can be read from this plaque.  It was a community centre project that involved people from many cultures working (and playing) together.  
At Beaver Lake, I hoped to see some of the birds we had observed the day before.  In fact, as sometimes happens, those birds seemed to be missing in action.  We did see this duck that I thought might be a Northern Shoveler female.
Here is another view of her.  (All id help appreciated.)
The reflections..
and lily-pads..
were fun to photograph.
A colleague happened by and our conversation about cyclist/runner confrontations inspired more thought about compassion and how to foster it wherever and however we can. In the mean time, I watched this heron, perhaps the same one we had seen only the day before.
We hadn't planned this, but somehow, our ride took us down to the seawall after that.  In fact, we ended up at pretty much the exact spot where David had died.  As we thought about him, I also heard tiny bird sounds, pitched too high for Bill to hear, but fortunately, his eyes and my ears combine beautifully and he was the one to spot this bird nesting in a cliff.
Perhaps it is a very common sparrow.  I'm not sure, but as always, would be happy for id suggestions from readers.  What really amazed me is that in the face of that sheer rock, a living being had chosen to make its nest.  Here's a "C" word for you, learned from the Unusual Words that Begin with C site.  Caliology is the study of birds' nests.
And, here are a few more views..
including a greatly cropped one showing something edible (an insect) the bird had found, 
I learned in this article that some of the rock consists of sedimentary sandstone.  I have no expertise at all about rock so can't tell you what you are seeing in the photos.  
I can give you a new "C" word, though.  Calcivorous refers to beings that live in, or feed on, limestone.
Here are two more shots, one showing the right side, 
and the other, the left side, of this very busy little bird.
The photos here are in order, so perhaps you will understand the emotion I felt, as I gazed up to the cliff beside us, the one that I guessed David had fallen from.
I looked as well at my beloved Black Jack, whose basket seemed to lean out over the water,
and at my beloved Bill, who guarded her safety carefully.
Only then did I see a young girl with these flowers.  No explanation was needed.  They were a tribute to David.  She was calm and composed but there was deep emotion in her eyes, and though my heart lurched in a kind of shock, I wasn't surprised when she told me she was David's sister.  Bill hugged her, his eyes filled with tears.  She and her family were trying to locate the exact spot where David had fallen.  I will never forget this moment and I will never forget David.  May he rest in peace;  I want to believe that his caring spirit will carry on in those he loved and in those who came to know his story only after his death.  
We continued on for the ride home, stopping only once more for a rest on a shady park bench.  Two young men were playing frisbee.  
I asked them if I could practice action shots.  
They kindly agreed. 
When I gave this gentleman my blog address, he said, "I don't know where I fit in.  I guess I must be the "beast" and not the bicycle or the bird.
Life carrying on,
just as David would want it.
Taking a moment to observe.. 
the caducity (impermanent nature)..
of life gives us good reason to..
those who pass by (she was on her way to the drum circle) and even into..
our own lives.
To answer your question about where you fit in,
you are one of those who carries on..
the spirit of vitality,
perhaps passed to you by someone you didn't have the chance to know..  through me.  
Thank you to each one of you who has taken time to care.


  1. life does carry on. i am sorry for everyone who will miss that young man.

    as for the sparrow, i'm not sure, but maybe a fox sparrow? it seems very russet colored. my 2nd guess is song sparrow, but i think it is too red for that.

  2. duck might be a female american black duck - that's my guess.

  3. We still forget how wild and unforgiving this country can be. RIP David.

  4. What a tragedy, the poor guy, and his poor family

  5. It was a terribly sad accident that we all heard about on the news. I can't imagine how it happened unless he leaned over and slipped. so sad and I feel for his family. As usual, yours photos bring your lives to life - if that makes any sense.

    abcw team

  6. So so sad to see a life cut short at such a young age :(

  7. great action shots.
    but sad tale of the young man

  8. What a terrible accident, I feel sorry for the young man's family.. Your photos are wonderful, love the birds and your cute Black jack!

  9. What a heartfelt tribute to David... May he rest in peace.
    I am sure he must be aware how much he is missed...
    God has His own reasons...
    Sad accident.
    So many pics tell the story...I join his family & you in your grief.
    May we all be caring & kind like David so that we may be remembered so when we are no more...

    Thanks for your kind words in my ABCW post- we both have "care" in common...

  10. Sorry to learn of the sad accident.
    Such a touching & heartfelt tribute for David... May his soul rest in peace
    I join his family & you in your grief.
    Kind & caring people like David never die. They are alive in our memories.
    May we all be nice like him so that we may be remembered so when we are "no more".

    Thanks for your kind words on my ABCW Post- we both have "care" in common...

  11. I'm so sorry to learn of the death of such a fine young man I wonder how he managed to slip, he may just have leaned too far over. My sincere condolences to his family, friends and the community in which he lived, including your good kind 'caring' selves lovely shots of birds and fauna, also the young Frisbee players, some terrific shots of them.
    I love the way black Jack sits in the bicycle basket, taking all in, if only dogs could speak!
    Best wishes,
    I felt as if I was on the bike ride with you such

  12. Incomprehensibly tragic about the young student … I wish his loved ones courage!

  13. What a wonderful tribute to David. I also felt heart-stricken when I learned of his death. I am glad that you met his sister and were able to let her know of your grief which is shared by so many when a young life ends so tragically. Phyllis