Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Forest of kitchens

We live in an incredibly beautiful part of an amazing country; in the summer it's particularly wonderful. Around July it's perfect. The corn is rising up, the trees are not just green, but full in every way, and the foliage is lush. But like peak color during fall, it's just a short time of this perfection before August hits and things start to grow past and over grow.

Behind our house there is a tree line from when this area was a farm. I think the trees are around 50, 60 years old, some older, some younger. They too are at that perfect time of summer - when they are still buoyant and lively. And when you look out across the tops of the woods all around us in this area, you can still see the little new growth, waving gently like an undulating sea of health and vibrancy.

I like to stand in the kitchen with Meera in her little chair and stand over her and just stare. She's just started to smile back when you smile at her. And when she does, it's like the perfect light at 7 o'clock, when the world is painted in a warm glow - it's warm, it's wonderful, it lights up everything around. Her toothless, gummy, not-quite-controlled, but completely unselfconscious joyous look radiates and pierces my heart. I can't force enough of this memory into my brain, as hard as I try.

And in that moment, I am amazed at the love I feel. And I am also overwhelmed by the connection I feel to almost every father that has ever lived in the world, ever. I think of the men standing in their kitchens, or living rooms, or garages, or fire pits, or huts, or bedroom who have done, and will do again the same thing I am doing. Men with beards, clean-shaven, religious, atheist, light, dark, clad, naked, cold or hot. They stand like I do in wonder. Holding, bouncing, watching, loving, fearing, reveling. Men who work, who don't, who can't and who won't. Men who's hands dwarf their little charges, but cradle them so gently.

Men who have no idea what they are doing, but know they would do anything.

This timeless forest of kitchens of fathers. Father's with little babies learning to smile. Even as generations pass by, fathers and their babies remain the same. And we may get lost in the woods, but we are ultimately all in it together, if only for the briefest moment. In July, before things become over grown.


Swanky said...

Wiping a tear...
You should publish this in a magazine. Seriously beautiful.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful said!


Candis said...

And sadly, things DO overgrow. Quite evocative. Thank you.

Alexandra said...

That is one of the most beautiful posts on this blog (and there are many here!). It shows an amazing connectivity between us all.

mayhem said...

This is wonderful. Thanks, Braydon.