My father was a quiet man. Not one to broadcast what he liked, or what he wanted. Not one to argue about what’s good or bad, beautiful or ugly. Not one to act out his feelings. He looked for the beauty, and silently hoped that those he loved, and who loved him, would find it too.
It came to my mind today: a time when I was a young woman and was riding in his car with him. It was a mountain road, late in the day. We rounded a corner and there before us was the almost-setting sun. At the next chance he pulled over, without saying anything, and we watched while the sun went down and the blood-strong colors sprayed the sky, and then puddled at the horizon. It was so beautiful, I had a lump in my throat, and I know he did too. Once the colors faded, he started the car and pulled back onto the road.
He never said a word, and neither did I. We simply listened to the sunset.
Verne died in 2007, at 83. He would have been 92 on October 4 this year. Michael and I planted his ashes under a persimmon tree in our yard a couple of years ago, and it’s bearing fruit this fall. Fruit the color of sunset. And I remember the sound of that setting sun, with a quiet man.
© Elizabeth Ojala, Sept. 29, 2015