I cannot separate my love for my father
from my love for the sea.
They meet and merge like the tides.
Each year, when we were young,
despite his longing to vacation in new places,
to satisfy his thirst to explore,
he would carve out a week to gather by the sea
with my mother, my sister and me,
and lean into the rhythm of the wind and the waves
that smoothed back the furrows of his busy forehead
and I’d watch his eyes go soft
to the soothing of surf and sound.
They relaxed, those deep brown eyes,
because there was room enough,
and space and calm and time enough
to hear the light
and see girls in the sand,
even ones that were hard to see.
That great wide sky
and vast rolling water
un-pinched and turned my father’s face
and sometimes his eyes would find mine
and stay awhile.
I lived for those moments
when the sea and he would look at me.
I wonder at the power of fatherlove
and breathe grateful thanks
for love that looks and sees and smiles
and believe that my father’s love will find me always
as the shore
meets the sea.
“Fountain of sorrow, fountain of light,
you’ve known the hollow sound of your own steps in flight,
you’ve had to hide sometimes, but now you’re alright,
and it’s good to see your smiling face tonight.”
– Jackson Browne