February 12, 2010

Crickhollow in the snow...


Being that I hate cold weather now I simply opened the front door and then the back door and snapped a few pictures. It's February the twelfth. It snowed. It's Georgia. This isn't pleasant. Even the kids had no interest in getting out in this mess.

This week has seen the anniversary of the second year since my father died. The old saying that time heals all wounds is simply a damn lie. I have a sneaky feeling that's why I look upon the snow and cold weather with such disdain. Every year when there was any threat of icy precipitation his calls of, "I hope it snows asshole deep to a camel!" would reverberate throughout the house.

Indeed... the sound of his voice shall haunt me forever.

2010 is really turning out to be a banner year thus far. A time of endings and new beginnings that have fallen faster than I was prepared for and have left me reeling, wondering what other shoe may drop. As the sky darkens and I watch the snowflakes drift down to settle unwanted on tree branches and wood waiting to be carved I can't help but be taken back to a summer just a few short years ago sitting on the patio late at night with my father.

We were having a discussion about his life. He was a happy man, content for the most part. He told me about the things he wished he had done and a few actions that he would love to retract. I asked him for some life advice when he had gotten quiet and his words, like his smile, will live with me forever, "Chase as many women as you can, even if you don't want to catch them, buy all the property you can get your hands on, and don't take any shit from anybody."

The chasing women part I'm not interested in, the only woman I ever really chased I caught and married eighteen years ago. At times I really feel like I have failed the man. He was a talented individual that did well with whatever was put on his plate. I saw him take some punches here and there and he always landed on his feet with a sly grin. He lived long enough to see the people that did him wrong get ripped to pieces by the karma monster, yet he took no pleasure in it. I once asked him what he thought about the man that pushed him away from a career of over forty years getting arrested for stealing from a new employer. He said, "Poor man, just could never be satisfied with anything he had.. greed.. its brought down many a man, and turned many hearts to stone..." That was my father. A much better man than me...

I just left this keyboard to walk out onto the porch and watch the snow fall in the dark. As always, the overwhelming thing that confronts me during a snowfall is the silence. The wind blowing through the trees laden with snow is the only sound that could be heard. I looked over toward my mothers house through the woods and saw the lights on downstairs by the fireplace. I thought of my mother sitting there by the fire and what this week has surely meant to her. To lose someone you spent fifty four years with.. I just could not imagine...

When we moved out here in 1975 or 76 my father decided to call this place 'The Lost Forest'. Why? Who knows... But that is what he wanted... As I stood there I thought about all of the things this little area has seen down through the years. Good times and bad.. Everything from drunken brawls and all night parties to marriages, births, deaths, laughter, tears... Life. The storm and tempest of what comes and what goes. When I think on these things I always listen carefully, I almost feel as if I could hear something from the past lives that left sweat and blood on this land. Slaves working it when it was a plantation, hunting parties of Creek Indians moving through the trees, Confederate troops moving through it cut off Union soldiers, my grandparents walking the property line decades ago, and generations of my own blood standing in the same spot I now stand in, looking out into the silent darkness, perhaps thinking the same things...

On this night all I could think of was the voice of my father telling me to lighten up and "Get on with the business of livin' boy.. you worry too damn much"

He would've loved this snow. Were he here, I would be proud to drive him around in it on the kawasaki mule. I can hear him now, "Boy it don't matter if there ain't no road over there, go through those trees, I want to see what it looks like up there covered in this snow.. besides, we got legs.. we can walk if the mule gets stuck..."

Come to think of it... the snow really ain't all that bad... I think I might just go for a ride...

9 comments:

John Pender said...

I think I'd have liked to have met your father.

Cat said...

Sounds like a wise man, and all the wiser for loving the snow, because otherwise...well, there's just not a lot of love going on.

HeartofGoldPlate said...

Little tiny pieces of my heart kind of wither away every time I go back to the Lost Forest and have to be reminded that I can't go talk to Grandaddy about my finding a "nice southern boy". I hope he's alright with the northerner I ended up with.

Junebug said...

Delmos Perry was the evermost SOUTHERN GENTLEMAN!He was one of a kind.He did pass lots of his genes on to his children.There isn't anything he wouldn't do for you.The children are also like that.
Clay did you ever think Your daddy might of asked God if he would send you some snow from him to let you all know he is FINE.Just a gift of snow to let you know he is fine,that he misses you all as much as you miss him?
This would be the kind of thing I think he would do if he could.He was a charming man and never used the charm to do bad things.I think he knows what's going on in your life.It's his way of saying it's okay and things will be fine.
Remember he loves you as much as you love him.
xo

Kokopelli said...

Maybe the snow falls just to remind you of him and all the moments you spent together. Like I said before I'd have loved to meet your father in person.
With all the snow we have this year I just realized how much I missed it!

Matt-Man said...

Wonderfully written, Clay, and a wonderfully interesting man. A handsome cuss as well. Cheers Clay!!

3 Men and a Lady said...

That was a great post. He sounds like he was a real character.

boo said...

Melancholy and beautiful, darlin'. Hold your head up high, I'm sure your Dad's right proud of you. You're a good man, regardless of how you may feel at times. *hugs*

Ronnie Kerrigan said...

Hi Clay,

People who are significant in our life seem indestructible and when they die a gaping wound prevails insusceptible of healing.

My mother succumbed to heart failure in 2004. I dread the cold, the dark, inactivity, sometimes silence. If I am cursed with sleeplessness I lie helpless and miserable, too numb to cry. I tend to cry in my sleep. I grieve the fact I shall not meet my mother again, to talk, laugh, embrace.

Our past can only be told in words. Attributes engendered by our parent's of integrity, truth, wisdom, learning, courage, love, warmth, laughter, are to be cherished.

A moment always falls permanently separating loved ones, and we are left to manage alone as best one can.

Your post describes profoundly aspects of life, and loss, which makes one sit up, read, and listen.

Regards
Ronnie