Wednesday, September 10, 2014

I Credit My Father

I Credit My Father

As punctual as daybreak, as constant as the tides, it is a memory that returns to me every single time I walk along a lonely beach at twilight.  The wonderfully reliable recollection floods my senses and I find that, once again, it takes no effort to see myself as I once was -  a little girl, holding the hand of my father, trying without success to match his stride in the sand as we strolled along in the light of a setting seaside sun.  We would stand with our eyes on the dark stripe of horizon as the sea stole the sand away beneath our bare feet, grain by grain, as though in an hourglass, causing us to sidestep to firmer footing every minute or so.  The wind would whip and whisper. And my Father would tell me stories.

“Look”, he’d say.  “Way out there.  As far as you can see, and then a bit more.  Can you see it?”

“See what?”, I’d ask, my little eyes squinting as they stared at that mysterious place where sea becomes sky.

“Oh, there’s so much to see”, he’d reply.  “There are creatures, way down in the water, creatures taller than buildings, creatures that can fill up the sky.  Monsters and heroes, angels and witches, good things and bad things.”

“Dogs?”, I would ask, hopefully.

“Maybe, “ came the reply.

And I would stare and stare, my eyes stinging, with my little heart throbbing halfway in hope and halfway in fear.   And just the night took over the day, I would squeal....”I think I can see it, Daddy!  I see someone walking out over the sea!  Someone really big!  Can you see him??”

“Of course I can, Squirt.  You bet I can.”

Sometimes at night when Edward lays quietly beside me as I read before bed, I catch him looking up at me, his big brown eyes a mirror of his devoted soul, and I’m almost certain he’s getting ready to speak.  There is a part of me that would not be at all surprised.  I watch the crowds in airports, wondering which of these people might be in disguise.  Which ones are angels?  Who is here from a different time?    I think the owls speak in a lyrical language I have yet to learn.  I think there just might be those around me I cannot see, busying themselves in work of which I know nothing.  I don’t have to talk myself into this way of seeing the world; it is as much as part of me as breathing.  And of course, I credit my Father.

My imagination was awakened on those seaside walks when I was little.  My Father told me stories that erased a flat and monochrome world forever, stories that sparked and crackled as they opened door after door in the halls of my mind, doors that, once opened, can never be closed.  When I weary of a world too often as insipid as it is cruel, it is to these rooms that I flee, finding comfort in the colour inside them - the light, the knowledge, the joy.

A couple of weeks ago, I stood again by the sea in the blue black light of approaching darkness.  My Father has been gone from this world seven years now, but just as he taught me all those years ago, I watched the horizon - staring hard, eyes stinging - in anticipation, hope, and a little bit of fear.  And just as the stars began to prick through the blue velvet sky, I could see him.  Walking along the ribbon of night - as tall as a giant, as solid as a rainbow.

“Do you see him, Daddy?
“You bet I do, honey.  You bet I do.”


  1. This post is so precious it almost made me cry. What a sweet memory to have of you and your father.

  2. Hello Pamela

    Thanks for sharing such fond memories and adventures with your dear father. How beautiful you can say goodnight to him each time you stand on the shore at sunset

    Helen xx

  3. I loved this story Pamela - your father must have been such an interesting, romantic, adventurous man, and he definitely taught you how to use your vivid imagination and thereby write such lovely stories to share with us.
    You mean Edward doesn't speak to you? Come on 'fess up, you know he does in his own lovely way - and I just bet you answer him, haha!!!
    Hugs to you, and Edward.
    Mary x

  4. Lovely writing Pamela. I have many memories of my father, who walked miles with me down country lanes searching for birds' nests andwild flowers and ticking them off on my lists. I get similar memories when I do these things now, just as I hear him reciting his favourite poems.

    As for dogs and eye contact - when Tess fixes me with her brown, soft eyes, I am totally and utterly at her command.

  5. How wonderful to have had a father who could be interested in you.

  6. Pamela,

    Such a magical tale you have weaved and how wonderful to have not only the lasting memories of such a special father but an open mind in such a world as we live. The magic you describe is something that carries me through my own life and it was instilled in me by my grandfather, who taught me that my grandmother was a witch, that hocu pocus and johnny mocus were faries and we were lucky to have them as relatives and so much more. The magical people and magical life were all there for us to find if we just looked. My mother carries these tales on to a new generation by sharing them with my nieces and nephew and each time I see her share her tales and immagination I can see my grandfather sitting along side.

    Thank you Pamela for the reminder on a bad day that there is love, light and magic in the world...we simply have to look for it.

  7. YOUR GOOD!THATS all there is to say about your writing!Love how you weaved EDWARD in.................XX

  8. What a lovely memory. My father was practical and critical and not at all given to flights of fancy. But I do remember one summer at Myrtle Beach when he showed me how to call dolphins. He stuck his head in the water making loud funny noises. Sure enough, in a minute dolphins appeared. It was like magic. It is one of my favorite memories of my father.

  9. I loved reading this.

    I adore the beach, the ocean, try to go at least once a year. Yet, I have no memories of my parents and I there,
    because we never went together. I'd never really thought of that until I read your blog post!

    One of my best memories of my father is of us sitting on the back steps and he was playing his harmonica, and our lost dog came running into the yard.
    It was magical!

    Our children have fond memories of beach vacations, and now our grandkids and our dogs, who love it there!

    I am going back soon.
    Thanks for sharing your special times with your father, who made such a beautiful impact on your life!

    ~ Violet

  10. What a wonderful father. To plant and nurture the seeds of imagination in you was certainly a gift that you share with your readers every time you write.

  11. Hi Pamela, it has been a while since I visited. We lost our beloved dog earlier in the year, I know the loss of a father is not the same thing but both are heartbreaking. Your memories are very special indeed, your dad sounds like a really lovely person. I feel much the same about mine, our walks together through the woodlands and along beaches had a great influence on me and sparked my imagination. (Since I last visited I also joined Googleplus, in case you are wondering I am aka Acornmoon.)

  12. Ah...I've missed stopping by here but so glad when I do to receive the beauty of your stories, so many of which I seem to relate to in some way..I suppose most people who read them do as well. When our father died we kids each wrote an Ode to the Patriarch. That was in 1999. He, like our mother, taught us to see beyond the ordinary, especially when looking to the heavens. So I love the artwork you chose here! One of the lines one of us wrote was that our father was a combination of Abe Lincoln, the Titan, Atlas, and Hemingway; hence the image of strength, wisdom and wit, bigger than life itself. ;)

  13. Oh the things Edward's trying to tell you. A PON trait .

  14. Lovely story about special times with your Dad. It brought back some lovely memories for me with my Dad who died when I was 15 yrs old. God bless, Rosalie

  15. Oh Pamela …… that piece of writing brought me to tears …… not an easy thing to do so a tribute to your beautiful words. Your father was a true inspiration to you. XXXX

  16. Ah, what a lovely post. What a lovely tribute to your father. And I love your writing. Write on!

  17. Your post brings back memories of my Dad. He's been gone for 13 years but we never forget, do we?

  18. ..I just now realized it is interesting that when I wrote my comment yesterday it was my father's birthday....and I although I was thinking of him, I didn't connect it with your writing about your father until this morning..he would have been 89,,,and, his name was Edward! ;)

  19. You are such a good writer. I want to know more about your thoughts from your closing paragraphs, about how you can sit in a crowded place and speculate and wonder about who are angels and who are here from another time, etc. Those are really fascinating ideas, please develop them because I would love to know more. Your father sounds like a dear, dear person. xo, N at The Lady's Life

  20. Fabulous. Chills and memories come to me as I remember very poignant breaths in my life when my father taught me to see what wasn't there...and to this day, he walks beside me, his music ringing in my heart.

    Pamela (and Edward!) - thank you so much for coming to visit me. I don't spend a lot of time writing prose on my blog, but rather try to say what I wish in a short way....I am studying poetry and reserve that for a small group I host in my home. I really appreciate a writer such as yourself leaving me a comment.

    Look up at the sky; our fathers are watching. Anita

  21. You have a way of painting vivid pictures in my mind. Thank you


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