November 10th, 2007

Egrets Reading

tide rattle of a pebble beach...

Point Lobos State Reserve

tide rattle
of a pebble beach --
his echoes

I found out yesterday that Jim Arnold who organized the 2007 Yuki Teikei haiku conference at Asilomar with his wife, Betty, was in a fatal motorcycle accident last week. My heart goes out to Betty and the members of Yuki Teikei who knew him well. He was taken from the world too soon.

Funeral services are this afternoon at the Pescadero Community Church. His obituary in the San Jose Mercury News is here.

I only met him twice, but he made an impact with his love of nature and his expression of it through haiku and his volunteer park ranger activities at Año Nuevo State Reserve.

He led the ginko walk at Point Lobos before we checked in at Asilomar. One of the stops on his walk was the cove pictured above, where the beach was completely made up of pebbles. He took a small group of us over by the rocks in the lower right side of the photograph and showed us how the tide rattled as it came in and went around the front of the rocks, grinning in delight as we all smiled at the sound. His love of nature was contagious.

The closest thing I can think of to describe the sound of the tide is the sound a person makes when walking through a doorway hung with bead curtains. I think I will always think of pebble beaches when I remember Jim, remembering the way he grinned with infectious delight as pebbles rattled with incoming tide.