Walks with my Dad.
Ever since I can remember, my folks have been walkers, especially my Dad. And over the years, we've gone on countless walks together, my Dad and I, along the streets and horse trails of Portola Valley, among the estates of Woodside, up and over the hills of San Francisco.
Recently, the walks have somehow taken on more significance. In the past, our walks were almost always tied to some sort of event, usually a visit to my folks' house, but for the past year or so, the walk itself has been the event. Who knows why. But if had to guess, I would say that my fall brought into crystal clarity the fragility of life, and the need to live it as fully as possible every single day, motivating my Dad and me to carve out a bit more time for each other. (I confess, too, it helps that neither of us has a full time job at the moment!)
Right after my accident, the walks took place mainly in San Francisco. They were short, enjoyable, yes, but also work, as I struggled to stay upright, get used to a cane, not look up/down/left/right too rapidly and worse. But as my condition improved so did the walks. And while I still have "issues", at least now I can walk and talk without too much trouble.
Yesterday was a particularly fine walk. We met at The Grove on Chestnut street around 9:30, where we doused ourselves in coffee and munched some breakfast items. Then we drove to the water's edge, parked, faced the ever present wind off the ocean to the west, and headed into the fog toward the Golden Gate Bridge.
Topics solved: banking, the future of the US economy, health care and possibly a few others. Sometimes our conversations turn to specific things we're doing -- music or advertising for me, consulting and computing for my dad -- but mostly we go for the big stuff, and that suits me fine, because I love to talk about the big stuff and so does my Dad.
What does all this have to do with songwriting and my upcoming (fingers/toes/eyes crossed) album? Nothing really. Except for this: The walks make me feel good: lucky to be alive, lucky to have the level of health I do, given the accident, lucky to have the parents I have, lucky to have met someone, Catherine, with whom I hope to start my own family someday, lucky to live where I live, lucky to be so lucky. And this good feeling stays with me, and keeps me from slipping too low to be creative, a constant risk for me.
So, thank you, Dad, for a fine walk yesterday and many other days. Can't wait for the next one.
(Please visit Serve The Song to read my first guest post!)