Wednesday, December 02, 2015
When you leave the familiar path, abandon the usual way, and venture into the unknown, the undiscovered -- at least to your own eyes and feet -- you often find something you didn't know you were missing.
Like a memory or a feeling. Or both.
The memory of feeling this way before, when I was a child walking in the woods behind our cottage on Rice Lake in Ontario.
So this walk through a field, along the barbed wire fence keeping the cows in their pasture, this walk along a faint deer trail, this walk through a deciduous wood, reminded me of my father, reminded me of my childhood, made me feel that way again, young and free and safe, exploring and learning and opening up, made me sense my father's presence not beside me but inside me, alive, living on.
The field was deeper than I realized, larger than it looks from the road, a long way down to the river, to a little point of land my husband had told me about, a point he sees from a boat and feels calling to his spirit, begging him to come in and be still.
I sat there for awhile, on that secret, cherished point, listening to the choppy river lap at the shore, listening to the wind through the tall, brittle grasses, hearing the dog's short bursts of exploration and return, breathing in, trying to make my eyes wide enough -- panoramic -- to take it all in: the wide swath of water, the sparkling sunshine, the dry yellow river grass, the morning air, the autumn breeze, the place, the feeling, the longing.
And so through my husband, who has lived here all his life, who has this river running through the veins of his body, I reached through and found my father, found a memory of a feeling that brought my soul to the surface, floating like a leaf on the edge of a wave.