Father’s Day

Late afternoon skiing in the woods behind the house, sun going down, Dad leading the way home to hot chocolate waiting. Desperately trying to keep up, since it was dark behind me, and Dad was safety.

Strong arms around me, big boots in front against the wooden curl of the toboggan, wet cold snow spraying up into our faces as we hurtled down the hill.

The bizarre life within a tiny drop of pond water coming sharply into focus under the microscope borrowed for the weekend.

Endless hours of driving across the country in summer heat.

The elaborate process of shaving. The scent of Dettol and a match as Dad prepared to remove a splinter from my finger, autumn leaves crunching as he raked them, the squeak of snow being packed into snowman arms, tangy goo of pumpkins being carved into elaborate jack o’lanterns at Hallowe’en, the musty scent of compost being sifted. Rides on the huge scoop shovel down the driveway.

In his arms, leaning against his chest, hearing and feeling him singing “The Fox Went Out on a Chilly Night,” looking out over the front yard, all sparkly snow in the moonlight. Must have been late at night, I must’ve woken with a nightmare, the house was all dark.

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