In the closet of my writing room are boxes and boxes of old photos. For the past couple years, when I have a few minutes, I scan a handful and eventually will put them to period music on a DVD. Someday, this will be a family Christmas present. Each December I say, “This year…”, but maybe next.
In almost every picture of my dad, he is smiling. The smile fills his face and it is hard not to smile back. Even after his stroke, the photos I find seem full of this measure of who he was. I did not always understand him or agree with him, but he was comfortable in his own skin.
Perhaps this means he was full of himself and yes, he was. Or maybe, as I write in a poem “he was too limited to question decisions made or examine failures to communicate”. True again. He could be a no-nonsense disciplinarian, but he was also ready with a hug, a pat on the back, a cupped hand up to the bottom tree limb…a smile.
At this time of year when we tend to reflect about how to enhance our lives and the lives of those we love, maybe it starts simply with a smile that fills our face. A hug is always nice too…Happy and Peaceful New Year wishes to all.