Community cairns

Published September 15, 2013 4:36 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

There is a peak just above the Terrace Hills section of the Bonneville Shoreline Trail above the Avenues, on which there was a large cairn topped with Tibetan prayer flags, until someone dismantled it a couple of years ago.

The surrounding views include the high peaks of the Wasatch, the city, the Great Salt Lake and City Creek. This is only a short walk from our neighborhoods, and that cairn was a symbol of the wonder of this place, and oneness with faraway places.

Since then, passing by on the trail, I've seen attempts to resurrect the cairn, always followed by dismantling. Just this morning I passed this place on a pre-work run to find that two new small cairns exist, holding two small posts with prayer flags strung between. It gave me a small burst of joy to see it, and so of course I added a couple of rocks to the cairns.

I see value in these simple, anonymous acts of community. So I ask the person who feels compelled to tear these symbols down: What message do you intend to convey by your act? Does your act actually convey the message you intend?

William P. Johnson

Salt Lake City