Sunday, February 26, 2017

When They're Gone.

About two weeks after my dad died I was hiking home from visiting a friend. I was passing an old wooded canal that had once been important to the Atlantic Richfield Company many, many decades before, but which is now just a lazy waterway shaded by enormous live oaks. As I was standing there, looking at the water I saw a movement. Something was really making waves in the murky water. I edged out onto one of those live oaks until I could get a good look and was amazed to see an otter. Either playing or hunting. I could not tell which. I watched that otter living life like mad until a tiny bit of bark came loose and fell into the canal. That otter instantly stopped, lifted his head out of the water and immediately spied me. Then he vanished soundlessly and did not come back.

As I walked away from that tree I was moving at double-speed because my dad loved that kind of thing and I could not WAIT to get back home to tell him.

And, of course, it hit me. I had no one to tell. No one who would appreciate the experience. And so I just became that much tougher.

I was on the creek behind this cemetery when I saw the otter.

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