Where Herons Roost, and Father Rests…

Yesterday, I planted pansies at a site where parts of my Dad are scattered.

Flowers for Pops

He died two years, eight months, and fifteen days ago. He died three days after his 78th birthday. Some of his ashes are scattered here. Other parts of him are strewn closer to home. Sanctuary

I visited this site because it was a sanctuary to him. He would go for long, solitary walks and sit idly here for a while, watching the herons in their nests, gazing into the sky for a heron in flight.

I went there with my Beloved Julie and, after I planted the yellow and purple flowers we, too, took in the splendor of the scene; a soft murmur of wind, the delicate trickle of water over a dam, the firmament reflected in a shimmering pond. Reflections

It was a perfect spring day.

The task done we perched on an old lichen-covered stone wall and sat in silence, and allowed our senses to be embraced by Nature’s wonder.

A heron suddenly flew overhead, it’s slow, rhythmic wings fanning the air. I knew it to be Dad. We both said hello to its magnificence as it passed on by. Heron

Other bird calls pierced the air as lazy Monet-like cumulus flitted across our path. A single heron popped up from its nest, its roost for the summer. We lingered, and soaked up the quietude, pleasantly  immersed in the languid flow of Nature.

Forty minutes later, we packed up and headed home. With one last glance behind, we bid my Dad peace and comfort.

“See you, Pops. We’ll be back soon. Love you.”

We left, to enjoy the remainder of a sunny April Sunday.

Copyright, Paul Grignon, 2013, All Rights Reserved.



8 responses to “Where Herons Roost, and Father Rests…

  1. Catherine Dube

    That was beautiful Paul!

    • Thank you, Catherine! I appreciate your kind comment. I hope that all is well in your world and that much good health is yours. Take care, and have a splendid day!
      with warm wishes,
      Paul xox

  2. “A heron suddenly flew overhead, it’s slow, rhythmic wings fanning the air. I knew it to be Dad. We both said hello to its magnificence as it passed on by.”

    This is amazing! I used a similar theme in my novel – Beck & Call – where the character of Edwin mirrored my true life youth. You might want to catch the excerpt here > http://wp.me/p1YE83-xz – though, please do not feel obliged to.

    Thank you for this sharing, Paul. I’ve lived this and it touched my depths.

    Peace, Eric

    • Dear Eric,

      I just read your excerpt, my friend, and it was quite touching and it spoke to me at depth. Maybe that is why I still think of my Dad as that heron, and that I see herons quite frequently because, perhaps, I have not let my father go. I think of him every day, and at some point during the day I always say hello to him.

      I find it rather strange, though, that a few of my siblings do not appear to share my grief and loss. After the two-year anniversary of his death, we were sitting around chatting, and we talked about Dad. I told my siblings that I think about him every single day. One replied, “I never think of him at all.” And the other said, “C’mon, Paul. It’s been two years.”

      I was astonished by their seemingly lack of respect and love for a man who had mentored and loved them for over four decades. Perhaps, though, it was their own particular way of dealing with his death. Maybe. But I cannot so easily let my Dad go. (Just writing that last line, Eric, tears welled in my eyes, and a chill crept along my neck.)

      I miss my Dad. Every day. I do wish for him to be in a better place, a world where he can once again enjoy his cigars–without the coughing fits–and enjoy a glass or two of white wine, and relish the solitude of the sanctuary where herons roost.

      As to your own writing, mon ami, your prose is exquisite. I look forward to reading more of your stories. For now take good care, and thank you once again for your thoughtful and kind words.

      with warm wishes,

  3. Dear Paul,

    “Just writing that last line, Eric, tears welled in my eyes, and a chill crept along my neck.”

    When I first read your post, I sensed deep grief but also a strong front. I didn’t feel confident enough of our friendship to broach this in my earlier comment. Please do forgive me but in such matters, one never knows when a line is crossed.

    I learnt many years ago that it is good to cry – contrary to all that macho crap about ‘real men’ don’t cry. I even posted about this and was pleasantly surprised at the response > http://wp.me/s1YE83-cry

    But I also believe that once we’ve fully grieved, what remains is marvellous loving memories without the pain – heals us in ways that brings but tears of joy. This is my sharing and it works for me – might not work for others.

    Paul, thank you for sharing details about your family. Feel free to delete it – as you wish – if you don’t wish for it to remain public.

    I’ve read your reply, feel trusted and blessed to have met you.

    All good wishes,

    • Dear Eric,

      Thank you so much for the compassionate words and thoughts. I appreciate your comments. They in turn have secured our friendship, my friend. And I am confident about that.

      You had not crossed any line, but it shows how sensitive you are about such things. I choose to keep your reply in the public domain, as it should be read by others.

      You are quite right about the ‘macho’ nonsense. It amuses me to no end, and I simply chortle at their misguided testosterone. Some suffer from small-man-syndrome; others, lost in the misguided belief in what it means to be a man. Crying is, as you say, very healing; it is a necessary release. (hence women live longer.) I think men should be more in tune with their feminine side. In fact, that will be a part of my memoir, the whole ridiculous nature of machismo and how the world would be a better place if more women were in control. Nay, working together with all.

      Sometimes, when the memory of my Dad’s death was still raw, I would cry uncontrollably and out of the blue. Luckily, I have a dear and sensitive and lovely wife who consoled me during these times of sorrow. I don’t know when it will be when I have fully grieved.

      It was my pleasure writing an anecdote about my family, and those words are important. You are welcome, by the way. And I, in turn, feel trusted with your friendship, and I am honored to have met you as well.

      Take care, warm wishes,

  4. Normally I don’t read post on blogs, but I wish to say that this write-up very pressured me to check out and do it! Your writing style has been amazed me. Thanks, quite nice post.

    • Dear Emmanuel,

      Thank you so much for the kind words, about that particular post and on my writing. I appreciate that very much. I am happy that you deigned to stop by to read that posting, something–or I should say–someone dear to my heart.

      I shall peruse your own site and read your words.

      Thank you, and take care. Here’s to your own writing!

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