My mother held another of her epic Yard Sales this weekend. She always manages to make money.
She had a lot of my Father's Indian Crafts for sale. She had many of his creations on display as well as a lot of his collected knick-knacks and curiosities from over the years.
It made me recall the nearly forgotten sensation I had as a young child that my father was very mysterious and that he kept many secrets.
He always seemed to have a lot of keenly interesting oddities tucked away in his closets and stored in voluminous caches in his shop.
I still have a cane he always kept under lock and key that frightened me as a child. I take it out once in while to look at it and notice the peculiar emotionless expression on the face that’s carved on the top of it and the weird effect it had on me as a child and made wonder what strange place it came from and who created it and whether or not it was magic. I used to sneak into his room when I was little and just stare at it as I fantasized that he had acquired it in foreign parts on some strange adventure and that he kept it well hidden so that whatever magic it contained would not be squandered on the mundane, every day world.
I know better now, as a grown man, but I still like to think that it’s somehow even more magical now than it was then because it ties me to my father and reminds me of the kind of strange Faith I used to have in such things and how fascinating a person he was.
He wove many tales and I heard them all when I was still small enough to believe in them and I catch myself hoping that Silas will have the same belief in me.
I get sad sometimes when I think of all the people he missed knowing and all the things that I had when I grew up that he will never have now.
But I did put a coon skin cap on him while we were hanging around my brother’s workshop perusing the flotsam of the sale. My dad had picked it up some place and now here it was, casually thrown in with the rest. When I saw it on Silas…all I could think was that he needs the kind of adventures that I had when I was little and he needs a cap like this one. I had one. We all did.
He looked like a little pioneer and that’s just what I want him to be.
In spite of all the bad things that have happened and all the anguish that I feel and all the idiotic nonsense that he’ll be forced to deal with in his little life, I just want him to believe the way I used to believe and to keep his mind open and his eyes wide for whatever magic and exploration he can find along the way.
And if I can have half the profound effect on him that my dad had on me…well, maybe I’ll be doing something right.