Friday, July 11, 2008
This is a photograph of my father, taken exactly one year ago today, while he was enjoying a particularly lopsided German Chocolate cake I made him from scratch for his birthday.
Today, he turns fifty eight, and I am what feels like thousands of miles away from him (especially with this storm-laden cell phone reception), and I cannot bake him a cake. I can, however, enjoy the cake made to celebrate Split Rock's twenty fifth anniversary and pretend, when the poets and writers sing Happy Birthday, they are singing it for him. That is almost the same, but not really, not quite.
This man, as many of you know, is a treasure to me. He is my father and I absolutely adore him, and he's always been so good and so supportive of me in nearly (ah, see, it can't be always and never, those things are too dangerous to say) all the time. Which is good enough for me. Plus, he's very smart and quirky and those two qualities are some of my absolute most favorite qualities in a human being.
And tonight, a day after the tornado that hit ten miles or so from our town, a night that is full of the crackling of thunder, a night that is our last here at Cloquet, a night that will always be full of poetry--tonight is my father's fifty eighth year of life, and I will think of him as I walk in the woods, as the rain comes down, as he is rehearsing songs, swaying with his guitar, singing songs not so different from the ones he sang over two decades ago, singing me to sleep.
Happy birthday, Dad. You know I love you. xo