I am so saddened and shocked to hear about Uncle Oleg. I've had you in my thoughts and prayers all day, and all my cousins and their children too. I turn to poetry when I'm sad, just as Grandma Esther used to do. I found a beautiful poem that reminded me of Oleg--particulaly his love of the lake and the mountain where you two made your permanent home. It's from the book of poems by Robert Service. He was a lover of the Northwest, and a practical man, very much about doing, and very attached to place, as Oleg was. This poem reminded me of how he loved going down to the lake daily in good weather to swim, and to admire the mountain on clear days. I also remember, how he was always glad to have company, and he would ALWAYS urge you to come with us. "Bets? You coming?" I think after all your travels, and all his flying, it was being able to settle down with you and the kids in one beautiful place that made him most happy. Anyway, I hope this poem reminds you of Oleg, as it did me. My favorite times with him were those walks down to the lake, those peaceful morning and evening swims. I love you, Amy (more Remembrances of Oleg Komarnitsky)
The Mountain and the Lake
by Robert Service
I know a mountain thrilling to the stars,
Peerless and pure, and pinnacled with snow;
Glimpsing the golden dawn o'er coral bars,
Flaunting the vanisht sunset's garnet glow;
Proudly patrician, passionless, serene;
Soaring in silvered steeps where cloud-surfs break;
Virgin and vestal--Oh, a very Queen!
And at her feet there dreams a quiet lake.
My lake adores my mountain--well I know,
For I have watched it from its dawn-dream start,
Stilling its mirror to her splendid snow,
Framing her image in its trembling heart;
Glassing her graciousness of greening wood,
Kissing her throne, melodiously mad,
Thrilling responsive to her every mood,
Gloomed with her sadness, gay when she is glad.
My lake has dreamed and loved since time was born;
Will love and dream till time shall cease to be;
Gazing to Her in worship half forlorn,
Who looks towards the stars and will not see--
My peerless mountain, splendid in her scorn . . ..
Alas! poor little lake! Alas! poor me!