9-7 Happy birthday dad, twilight in the woods
Land Between the Lakes, Kentucky
Dad turns 81 today. I know he’s not too thrilled about that but it’s an amazing accomplishment to make it that far especially since surviving a heart attack a few years ago.
I remember as a child is he often took us out into nature. In the beginning it was his little boat and enduring love for the salty sea.
Then for a time we lived near the Rocky Mountains in Boulder. We’d go up the mountains in his Jeep, exploring and scrambling around for elusive nuggets of gold (and always finding fool’s gold instead).
Back in Florida he’d take us camping where we’d go swimming in the Myakka river, snorkeled for fossils & shark teeth the size of our hands, and soak in starry night skies highlighted by campfires.
There was also that wondrous year where he turned our Dodge van into a camper and we lived like gypsies traveling the country many decades before that van-life thing became a thing.
Me, Dad and sister Nicole (w/mom taking photo)
Through all these different experiences he instilled deep in us an enduring love for nature. It’s something I cherish because it is in my blood and the root of who I am today, a forever wanderer.
Sometimes I wish I could rewind the clock on Dad’s biology so he could join me on parts of this nomadic journey I’ve been on. He’d very much enjoy it.
I do know he’s there in spirit as he follows along via these very words you are reading so that’ll do.
Hi Dad! Lots of love to you and thank you.
I’ve been hiking to a natural overlook about a half-mile from camp that juts high above the shoreline.
With a wide vista, it’s perfect to catch sunsets each night and watch what looks like miniature boats slicing around from afar.
There’s also a major shipping lane on the way to a nearby dam. Many evenings I see brightly lit tugboats push laden barges that stretch forever. How these tugboats keep their behemoths under control — like a mouse pushing a bull — is a mystery to me.
Like clockwork a bald eagle zooms over, always around the same time each evening I’ve been here. Going home to its forever mate after a day’s work, perhaps?
A rave of ravens swirl lazily above, milking thermals all they can.
I look off to the side of the overlook where the trail passes through and see darkness thickening. The curtain is falling and I must go before I end up banging into trees and tripping over stones.
On the way back there’s just enough dim light to glimpse a tiny field mouse hop across the path. It sees me and hides under a large leaf thinking it is now invisible. Ha! Cuteness abounds.
Fireflies seem to be guiding the way. I flash the tiny light on my watch in unity, grateful to see them.
Flashlights flicker across the cove from a couple fishing on the beach. I’m wishing I had a recording of a ferocious howl mimicking a Sasquatch to blast their way and watch ’em freak. Maybe next time?
Just before I emerge from the trail I turn to whisper a goodnight and blow a tender kiss to all beloved in the woods.
View from overlook at Land Between the Lakes
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