The muse has slowly been waking. She’s slept in a ball at my feet for the past year. One more thing to trip over. But of late, she’s offered up a little inspiration as I have dabbled back in the world of words once again. I’ve asked a few friends for some topics to blog about. Tonight, came the topic of Blue.
There is a stretch of beach in Forster, NSW – an inlet, really. When I hear the word “Blue” this is the scene that comes to mind. I am on rock beside my father, and before us, an ocean of blue stretches into a crease on the horizon. We sit; he has not long turned 70. I am in my late 30’s. It is mid afternoon. The day, like the tide, is running from us.
We tell each other how much we love each other. A rare moment. Growing up, I was never that close to him. Could barely reach him. He held me at bay with a stern and controlling hand. But in that moment there on the beach, the years peel away like old paint from a wall. A new slate reveals itself and on it we declare unconditional love for each other.
I remember the grief bundled in the back of my throat. I struggled to swallow back the bitter years we had silently endured, to arrive in this moment of tenderness. In among that knot of sadness were a million questions. How much time did we have left together? Had we wasted too much already? Did we both have the courage to pick the bones of this father / daughter relationship that had somehow lost its bearings?
It’s hard being brave when questions like these fall at your feet. It’s difficult to push the boundaries that eventually become the safe space between you. But gradually, we summon the courage. We navigate the fear. And we hope to last long enough to out live the answers.
It was the last time we declared our love to each other, face to face. He died suddenly a year or so later. Fell from my life like an autumn leaf from a tree, leaving me open to the grief that comes calling when a loved one dies before you are ready.
I try to think of all the other things that remind me of blue but today, I can’t get past that stretch of beach, past my father’s blues eyes twinkling back at me. Or past that moment we shared that has now woven itself into memory. Blue. It’s been that kind of day.
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