Archive for August, 2011

Brothers……

Posted in Where Angels Perch with tags , , on August 14, 2011 by rodzink

It was bitter cold..the kind of cold that hurts like the sting of a sunburn… the kind of cold that clears the sky.. causes the very stars to flinch, instead of sparkle in the pre-dawn December morning.  We seldom carried flashlights as we’d spent so much time roaming that mountainside, I swear, we could walk it’s length in utter darkness. From the parked Landcruiser, we separated.  My brother, Tim, disappeared into the hardwood with Remington .30-06 over his shoulder.  My tradition was to sit and watch him become part of the darkness…wait until I could no longer hear his footsteps.. He was a ghost in the woods… quiet… patient… Only then, I’d shoulder my Winchester .300 mag… and set out towards my tree stand.  I checked the wind direction… a struggle to keep it in my face…and not my back.  A step…maybe two… stop…move on…The solitude of it all was nothing less than…spiritual… and this was where I wanted to be… where something inside of us would sacrifice almost anything to get there.

Sitting silently…motionless…nonexistent and, yet, fully a part of the surroundings… This was routine…. but on this particular day…. I remember the crack of gunfire….three consecutive shots… which gave the whole story… I readied myself and watched the top of the ridge…within seconds… a nice buck cleared the horizon and was running flat out….and I watched….and waited…. Tim rarely missed anything…. The buck slid to the ground where I watched it kick a few last kicks… I watched from a distance… the eyes of that old whitetail.. serene…natural… I waited until his very soul ran wild back into the heart of the mountain…

That morning…. there was something of finality to it all…. The months of combing that mountain..the flats…the ravines…. Camping, sitting by a midnight fire…talking of the coming season… the scrapes…the rubs…the hunt… Laughing… poking fun…. being boys…young men… Lying on the dirt in sleeping bags.. Separated by design from all things of civility except companionship… the hunt..in truth….was secondary….  That mountain had become my church…my synagogue…mosque…. God was either there..or didn’t exist at all… We broke bread, in a sense, by that fire hundreds of times.  I miss those days… only those days… when the leaves began to turn brilliant red…vibrant orange… when the Poplar leaves would yellow… and the persimmons fall… the bark on those cedar saplings were peeled away by territorial, rutting bucks..along the ridge where I studied every tree…..every creek… sitting for hours amongst pipsissewah and moss… I learned to be alone… I accepted the often harsh certainty of weather…rain…cold…wind… human nature…trust… Yes, we had those that would infrequently arrive for the hunt… or to warm themselves after dark in our primitive campsites…. but I could always mentally weed out those that were different.  I’d listen…look into the hearts of our casual visitors…to many, this was a place where they’d come to seek out company… a sort of pub-like establishment… a reason to ride their ATVs…. to us… it was different…. It was simply who we were.. in our veins…. 

I was up early this morning… long before daylight… the gentle nudge that has stirred me for more than 40 years.. it’s who I am… it’s all I can do to just sit on my porch and listen to the birds…. feel the breeze… dream of a distant time… an era that is burned into my skin with the same permanance of an ugly tattoo…forever mine… and mine, alone…  and I think of the boys…. Baker and Aashir… Matthew…..     

There’s a verse….”a friend is someone closer than a brother….”  It’s the words that make me question authenticity…infallibility… Or simply doubt whether I’ve ever had a friend…

Aashir Rais….

Posted in Where Angels Perch with tags on August 2, 2011 by rodzink

I’ve read that children are like arrows… and happy is he whose quiver is full…  Well, I haven’t strung a bow in years… but I’m ready to see this little arrow…. I think we’re all becoming anxious… waiting….  This little soul has been in the hands of God… fashioned…molded… shaped…. ready to be handed off.  His mommy… there he’ll discover a beautiful soul… a generous and patient heart… capable and loving hands…. I’ve always heard and have now found to be true… There is nothing comparable to the love of an Indian woman…  

Aashir Rais, you are already loved…. you are already a part of  this family…. Your name is mentioned daily…. at dinner…in our casual talk… in our prayers…. I wonder what color your eyes will be… the color of your skin… I imagine the dark..black hair…. how long it will be before we’re strapping on backpacks… playing soccer… watching you with your brother… sister…  I promise to love you… to be a good dad… to devote my time, my attention… my all…. I can hardly wait until October……  Aashir…..  Annabelle ben… Baker bhai….  Mommy…. Me….. Just a little more time….