Thank you for teaching me to listen

Day 200

photo by Michelle Johnsen

photo by Michelle Johnsen

What I remember most is your patience.

Your quietness, your soft voice, your gentle ways.

Never in a hurry,

your stride never skipped a beat.

I remember the rhythm of it

up on your shoulders,

high above the world.

 

The scratchiness of your wool sweaters,

the tickle of your beard against my cheek,

warm, enclosed in a hug.

 

I remember your letters in the summer.

So thoughtful,

questions and stories,

and drawings

of horses and our cat Petey,

of the squirrels in the backyard and

you,

waving.

 

You taught me to see beauty in the smallest things.

You showed me where the peppermint grew at the edge of the old farm field

and whistled like the birds.

Injured animals always made you sad, and still do.

You love snails,

creatures who hug the land,

and you can sit for hours

and watch the waves

or feel the water lapping the sides of a small boat.

You taught me to write, you taught me to read,

you taught me to love the earth.

You taught me to listen,

to the birds, to the bugs,

to myself.

I love you

Dad.

Thank you.

Thank you for listening,

Love,

Natasha

Dad and baby Zander

Dad and baby Zander

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2 responses to “Thank you for teaching me to listen

  1. What a beautiful and moving tribute to your dad. You have me in tears I’m sure he is very proud of you.

  2. This is beautiful, Tash. My parents were pretty tough on him and he never seemed to get much credit. It takes a daughter to see the real man.

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