I haven't looked at it in quite some time. Every so often - and randomly less, I will Google Map
the farm where I grew up and zoom in on it. It is nestled in the bottom of a small valley. The white old farmhouse sits at the end of a long drive. (One that I always thought stretched truly straight to north from south, but apparently and according to Google, truly heads just a bit to the northeast.) The winding creek carves into the lower portion of the acreage and is dotted with large trees. The small grass hay field has just started to grow. Everything looks so green and lush. Dad's truck is parked in back with the topper on. I can see the door to the cellar, the sidewalks and the paths that led to here and there. The large garden is tilled and rows are just starting to be noticeable. The hand laid rescued brick sidewalk he positioned around the garden is clear. The obvious round patch is there where he would have planted his string beans that would raise up to the top of yet another wonderful (*and TALL!) metal creation of his. The shop that he built with his own hands, that housed the tools for his many talents and hobbies, is the largest structure in view.
But this picture must be at least 5 years old.
When I look at it, it makes me smile and a little part of me for the smallest instant, feels like he is still there. Most days when I take a look back, I feel warm and think fondly of it all, and time after loss has healed so much. But somehow today it is different. I miss my father so much and for some reason, out of nowhere, today it hurts horribly. I miss my father. I miss that farm. It is the place that he once called his favorite place on earth. I miss the smells. I miss walking around there. I miss the trees and the creek. I miss seeing his large garden and all the things that came from it.
There is so much of my father there in that one place. So many memories lie there for me. There are so many stories. I am sure one day the picture will be replaced with what is there now. But looking at it now, remembering how it was the last time I was there with him, I realize how lucky I am. So despite today's tears, it was worth a look back and sharing a part of that place with you. My creativity has been feeling a bit flat and somehow, just now, it filled again. This was the place that cultivated my creative side. It was the place I grew up somehow knowing I could do anything in life, and my father was quietly my constant support and foundation. My look back today will lead me forward - and all these memories will build me up.