Look Up and Grin
The canopy is almost bare. The few leaves that are left are dry and shriveled. The next big breeze will take them from the tree on a twirling journey to the ground where they land softly around my feet.
The sun shines through the limbs and the backlit wood has turned into a maze of twisting, oddly jointed arms with claws. My mind is going dark, I must change my mood so I think of Dad, and how he taught me to always look up.
We squirrel hunted in these woods on cool crisp mornings.
“Look up”, he would tell me, "You’ll see things happening in the branches long before they get on the ground.”
Taking that advice helped in my squirrel hunting, but also in my attitude.
Dad always had a smile for anyone that walked in the front door. He was happy to see people, to talk about things with an open mind, and to discuss life. The wisdom and experience was there, and of course the love and care a father has for his family was evident.
When he was out and about town, he made a point to go beyond a normal greeting. He had a unique ice breaker…
”Look up and grin!”
It seemingly worked on everyone, it made people stop and think. How could you be sour when a person looks you in the eye and presents himself confidently, openly, and with such a different hook than what we’re used to hearing?
It was amazing to see people’s demeanor change instantly.
I miss him, as we all miss those who have left us behind, but I don’t want to dwell on that as I stand staring towards the sky. Just look up, and grin.