October 06, 2016

Close Your Eyes

Long ago my father sat me down in this exact area. We walked quite a ways to get there.  He teased me and built up the place as somewhere very special. All I saw was frozen ground and trees that looked like they might be dead.

It was about 50 years ago.  I didn't see anything special but dad typically had a lesson he wanted to teach me each time we went into the outdoors. This grove of trees are certainly relatives of the ones my dad gave his profound speech to me in.

He was a nature nut.  He loved to show me the hidden beauty of things in nature.  I was kinda little then and didn't understand all the symbolism he had in his talks on stream.

This was one of his favorite places.  I didn't understand his initial talk when he gave it to me.  Eight years old are more visual and rely on immediate sensory input to understand. I remember him telling me to close my eyes and take it all in. I did what he said.

I left one of my dad's favorite places not understanding what words of wisdom he had tried to impart upon me.  He made a long speech and I kinda tuned him out.  All I remembered from the "Wonders of Nature" speech was things are not what they seem always. He kept saying take it all in.  Use all your senses.

About 30 days later we returned to fish the same area.  Dad made a point to open all the windows in the vehicle just before we pulled up to his special spot. I could see Dad's grove of trees on the hillside quite far away. I saw my dad smile when he saw my eyes grow large and take in a long slow breath.

I thought I had not understood dad's wonders of nature speech when he gave it but I did.  It all became crystal clear as I got out of the car. We made the long walk up to the grove of trees in silence.


We sat down at the exact spot from a month ago. The once dry brown grass was green and the snow was gone. Winter had released its frigid grasp upon my stream.  Nature was alive again.

The barren trees of a month ago now were decorated with a white bonnet of blossoms. He asked me if I needed to close my eyes again. The plum blossoms' smell was indescribable. I smelled them the second he opened the car windows from 300 yards away.

As I sit here today and close my eyes like my dad told me to do 50 years ago I can still smell those plum blossoms. I can hear him say: "Smell that?"  " Better than any high priced perfume from France or Italy."  He taught me to love and respect nature.

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