So I see my dad in the birds, especially in the hawks…for whatever reason I believe they are part of our collective story. From the time they swam in my pool right before he died…and looking at the pictures was one of the last things we did together…to the ones soaring intermittently overhead…to the occasional times when one has swooped toward the windshield, gliding up and over, as if it dropped in to say hi.
That’s how I take it, and that’s all that matters. He was all about nature, and I indulged him his bird talk, maybe because I actually enjoyed it. It’s different now that he’s gone (what isn’t?), but I find comfort in the birds…as if he’s someone still managing to be here, with me.
This weekend we did our almost-annual trip to Ogunquit, our first without dad…in our favorite little shop I saw this small stone bird, which I bought as a reminder of him and all of our good times and if all that he was and is to me.
Before our walk along the Marginal Way to Perkins Cove, we put all our food in the car lest the seagulls be tempted…and returned to our beach site a few hours later to find that the seagulls had gotten into our garbage, and our other bags…so those of us who had undergarments in their beach bags (not me) were greeted by bras on beach chairs. When we were driving home and a hawk swooped the windshield, we were sure that my dad had ordered the seagull attack, and that he was close by, laughing.
I’m overwhelmed right now, in so many ways and on so many levels. It’s been almost a year since cancer took my dad, and there’s no shortage of emotional stuff associated with that.
One things I Couldn’t bring myself to do this year was plant the garden beds that he and I built and tended together over the years. They look disgraceful, like this:
Today I went over to that part of my yard, and look what I found:
Love remains. ‘Nuff said.
Dear St. Anthony, please come ’round…St. Francis’ head is lost and must be found.
Yup. You read that right. My St. Francis garden statue has gone headless. I knew all along that his neck was compromised. The statue was a hand me down from my aunt and uncle when they sold their house, and Frannie was sold as is, with a surgically repaired neck resulting from a run in with my cousin.
For almost 15 years he stood watch over my yard, and I never thought to check in on him during or after the vicious winter. I have a lawn tractor in need of on-site repair and as such I’ve outsourced my grass cutting twice this season, to two different services as I audition landscaping people.
Fourth of July cookout was about 15 minutes in when Joe asked what happened to Francis’ head. I didn’t know anything had happened. But sure enough, the benevolent saint was headless. I went over to retrieve the head, figuring a few hours and a Google search would fix everything. Only the head was nowhere to be found.
Flash forward a day, to me with a rake. Searching for the head. It was bowed forward so it should have rolled forward. If either of the lawn guys clipped it, I would have expected to see concrete chips. Nothing. No head, no evidence, no nothing.
An omen? Of what? A sign? Of what?
I’m perplexed. Flummoxed. Stumped. Stymied. And hoping. Upon hope that St. Anthony helps out a brother and finds Frannie’s head.
I’ll mull it over as I watch the women’s World Cup final. Up 2-0 early. USA.