Advance Notice

Yesterday’s trails took me down to Lake Hancock just as the sun heralded in a new day. There are few better places in the world to be, I suspect, at that time of the morning and in the hours that I was there I don’t believe I saw more than five people along the way.

The early morning sounds and smells, the freshness of the gentle breeze at lake’s edge, and the underlying belief that I was doing something healthy, all blended together to get the weekend off to a wonderful start.

All the usual suspects were in attendance; alligators, herons, osprey, egrets, anhingas, and even a lone bald eagle on a distant tree along the shoreline.

My soft footsteps paralleled the shoreline for fear that a broken twig might interrupt some creature’s quiet time. And so I got to witness breakfast time for several of them without them even knowing I was close by.

The images at the end of this blog show two different Great Blue Herons with their catch and a Great Egret with his. I hope you enjoy!

All of these birds are prolific killers. They stalk and kill their prey with amazing success rates and they are intriguing to watch. Unfortunately in the watching, you also have to have a reasonably strong stomach because they can be amazingly vicious in making sure that the fish are dead before they attempt to swallow them.

Some of it was very hard to watch and I only included the softer images with this blog.

Depending upon your perspective, yesterday’s events would have triggered different headlines. “All you can eat buffet at shoreline edge!” reads the Heron Daily Express. “Mass murder at Lake Hancock” reads the Fish Daily News.

Yesterday was not a good day to be a fish. In fact, I can’t imagine that there are many good days to be a fish. On my next life, if they say I am coming back as a fish, I am going to ask to be one in an aquarium at the dentists.

As I drove away, the whole experience made me revisit a thought that I have had several times before. That, of the whole finality of life and the often sudden departure that we make from it.

Barring the thought that one of these fish was a kamikaze fish, there is no way any of these guys knew that their lives would come to such an abrupt end yesterday morning. They were just going about their business; doing what they had done many times before. After their bowl of cereal, soft-boiled egg on toast, and cup of black coffee, they folded their copy of the Fish Daily News under their little arms and headed off to work.

As the kids got on the bus and headed off to school (yes, I am using that pun deliberately) they had no idea that yesterday was the last day they would ever see each other again.

It all serves to remind us that there is rarely an advance warning on when we will die. We will die. There is no doubt. We can attach great fear to that moment if we wish, or we can just embrace it as part of a process. I choose the latter.

Don’t get me wrong … I don’t want to die. But unless I discover Ponce De Leon’s Fountain of Youth sometime soon, I will go the way of all before me and all after me. And that’s OK.

But the real question is to what degree do our lives run on the assumption that there will always be a tomorrow?

How much of our affairs are in order and what degree of mess do we leave behind for others to take care of after we are gone? Like almost everyone I know, I not only have a bucket list of things that I hope to do before I die, but I also have so many loose ends behind me that I shudder at the thought of my loved ones having to deal with it.

Things – actual things, stuff, unfinished projects, unpainted rooms, leaky pipes, and wobbly widgets. They are all irrelevant. They will all either be dealt with or discarded after we are gone. No one on their deathbed lies there wishing he just had enough time to paint that one room.

So I choose to concern myself with the people in my life. Taking care of those who depend on me and making sure that those whom I love know that they are loved.

At the end of the day those are the thoughts that I do not want to haunt me on my deathbed.

OK enough said … coffee and cereal are finished. Just folding the newspaper under my arms and heading off into my brand new day!

Under Pressure

I knew full well that this morning’s sunrise wouldn’t disappoint – the air was clear, the skies were clear, the temperature was near perfect. All the ingredients were there and the promise of a glowing sunrise seemed a given.

The cats were fed, coffee made, camera loaded, and all I needed to do was LEAVE ON TIME. But no, I dilly dallied and left about five minutes later than I originally intended. Which, by itself it wouldn’t have been a big deal.

But there is about six lights along the way and they all failed to cooperate, adding another five or six minutes to the drive and then the biggie: a humongous train with several hundred carriages (slight exaggeration) that I had to wait perhaps 10 minutes to pass.

So by the time I even got to within a couple of lights of where the lake was, the wonderful part of the twilight where a band of pink, violet, and gold sat just above the horizon, had evaporated.

I remember sitting at the last light screaming at the idiot in front of me to turn already! I might have even punched my steering wheel in some kind of petulant temper tantrum. But I would probably deny that in court.

So the sky was already golden by the time I jumped out of the car, grabbed my camera from the trunk and started shooting.

Here are a couple of pics and while nice, they aren’t really what I set out to do.

Driving home, still irritated at myself, I began to muse over the whole concept of how we put ourselves under pressure, oftentimes for not even the slightest of reasons.

If you are a professional athlete, putting yourself under pressure can be an effective way of driving yourself to achieve a level of excellence that the rest of us would admire but never even dream of attaining.

So, why do we do it? Is it simply a flaw in our psyche that ultimately just winds us up for no good purpose?

Is it just a vain attempt to exert control over a situation where we generally have little say in, not to mind control of?

Or is it even a method by which we steal away some of our own contentment and happiness?

Personally I am going to choose option three, as growing up in a staunchly catholic Ireland, happiness was ingrained to carry a certain guilt with it. Most things that were seen as sources of personal happiness were deemed as sinful and therefore things to be ashamed of.

Much of the teachings through school at that time was actually to try to get you thinking in an opposite direction … that self-denial and sacrifice were admirable qualities and though most of us never really had anything, we were to remind ourselves that there were millions out there with less. And therefore we should be happy with less ourselves.

How flawed is a childhood that steals your inner desires and makes you feel guilty for anything that might satiate them?

The whole “mea culpe” moment during weekly mass where you vigorously beat yourself three times in the chest because you were a sinner is eerily reminiscent of the holy orders that whip themselves to bleeding as they parade down the street in prayer.

Imagine the stark contrast then in moving to the US, where most kids were over-indulged … given far more than they ever should be and spoiled to the extreme. Taught at an early age that life really does revolve around them and that their own personal happiness is of prime importance.

Such teachings provide the base belief system that immersing yourself in wealth while you step on the poor, wall-out the illegals, and laugh at the under-achievers … that it’s all fine. You deserve it all.

Somewhere in between those two extremes is the real answer. It’s ok to be happy. But we need to care about those less-fortunate than us. We need to enjoy our one life; it’s the only one we are likely to get. But we need to make sure that our enjoyment is not at the cost of that of others, or even the very planet that we live on.

Putting ourselves under pressure to a moderate level is ok. If it drives us forward into being better people and carrying a proper level of responsibility to those we love, to those we share the planet with, and even to the planet itself. Then this is good.

If we are thumping the steering wheels because things didn’t work out exactly as we wanted, because a long train made us wait a little longer. Then that isn’t good.

It’s all about balance … hope your week is a balanced one!

Fire Escape

It was a fiery week. One of those weeks that really challenges your positivity. We all have them. So me being me, I grabbed a couple of cameras and went to the wetlands at Circle B in Lakeland.

It is probably my favorite getaway spot and under the clear blue skies of a Saturday morning here in Florida, what better place to be?

I had promised myself to seek out some birds at the weekend after that miserable bird news we got during the week. But in truth, there isn’t much “seeking” involved when you live in Central Florida … birds abound and in quantities and variations that belie the truth.

I try to get there as soon after sunrise as I can because it gives me a lot of alone-time on the trails. You might see an avid adventurer or two along the way but for the vast majority of time it is just really the place, the creatures, and me. I am not sure if it is a sign of approaching senility but I find myself in conversation with many of these creatures that I chance across. It hasn’t gotten to the point yet where they answer me back but just occasionally I get a look back that makes me realize that they are understanding me on at least a very basic level.

“I come in peace” is a primitive level greeting that we are all aware of and with the right tone and behavior, sometimes these little guys know I am not a threat.

There are some of the pics from yesterday at the bottom of this post and I hope you enjoy one or two of them.

By the time I had sat back in my car and started to drive home, I noticed how much my own demeanor had changed. When I arrived, I was still carrying the stresses of the week on me and had been cursing at fellow drivers who inadvertently annoyed me on my way over.

But now I was very relaxed. Tired and sweaty, for sure. But relaxed.

Isn’t that a lovely moment when you suddenly realize that you have mellowed out? It’s almost like you achieved something that you should feel proud of. And in some ways, you certainly should.

It is easy to bury yourself further into the annoyances of the week and some choose to drown their sorrows with alcohol or some other substance that only masks the stress for a while.

But truly healing from a bad period needs a method that addresses the actual illness and works to heal the symptoms. I refer to it as an “illness” because stress, annoyances, irritation, pressure, and the collection of bad moments they give us, indeed do make us sick.

When we are robbed of our inner happiness and stability, we are left with a void that is easily filled with sadness and depression. So the real answer is to find something positive to put in there instead. Nature (for me at least) is a wonderful healer in that sense, because like it or not, we are all a part of the natural world. So using nature in this way becomes a form of self-healing.

And I firmly believe that nothing beats self-healing.

I went through the rest of the day yesterday looking at life from a brighter perspective. I am sure that the week ahead will bring some more catastrophes that have to be dealt with. But at this moment I know that they can bring it on … I am ready.

Some weeks more than others can definitely leave us with a feeling of being burnt out but finding a fire escape for ourselves and getting ourselves to a place where we can reconstitute is worth its weight in gold.

Become aware of when you are on fire. Don’t distract from it but deal with it. Self-awareness and self-healing is a powerful combination in taking control of your life. And escape can be a key bridge between the two.

I find mine yesterday and I hope you find yours on whatever trail awaits you.

Nature’s songs

Nature’s songs are willingly sung by birds. They fill the early mornings at sunrise with the wakening chirps that let you know the day is about to begin. They call out the harmonies that ripple throughout the trees as the day warms to fullness. And they serenade the falling sun as the day finally drifts into night.

I love birds. All birds. I have no exceptions.

Every time I hit the trails, I watch for them and try to catch a glimpse through my lens, as they rest, or fly, or prepare themselves for whatever they are about to do next. Here are a few of my captures at Lake Hancock the other day. I hope you enjoy!

For me the biggest news that broke yesterday was not more idiotic scheming from the “dotard” in the White House, or another blackface picture from Trudeau’s past, or the rants of that pathetic Brexit Prime Liar in England.

Those stories may indeed have drowned out the real story of the day grabbing all the main headlines. But the true story, quite possibly the story of our lifetime was carried lower down the listing by CNN and BBC …. that since 1970, we have reduced the bird population in the US by a staggering 29%.

Our complete lack of awareness of the implications of this is staggering to me. That 3 Billion birds less are now in the skies across North America in just 50 years is a staggering indictment of how destructive humans have become to the very planet we live on.

What is the threshold upon which we humans will finally react? When will we stand up to the greed of industry and move to protect the environment that these little creatures (and indeed all creatures) rely on.

Why do we allow deforestation and oil drilling and fracking and pipelines on the world’s most precious preserves just to fill the pockets of a few and the ego of one.

I find it stunning that the biggest story of my lifetime was buried in the afterthoughts of a news system that is far from fake but clearly badly focused. Here is the story (in case you missed it altogether) https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-49744435

I will go back on the trails again tomorrow and with a little luck I will take more pictures of these wonderful winged creatures. But how dreadful to think that at this rate, our grandchildren and their children will only have these pictures to reflect on.

A reflection of mass extinction and the greedy bastards that frankly don’t give a damn.

Is enough, enough?

I woke up yesterday morning needing something.

Wasn’t exactly sure what and it was accompanied by a sense of foreboding that gave me warning that I was headed into a bad day.

So as soon as the babies were fed, I grabbed my coffee and headed for Lake Parker. The week had been full of wonderful sunrises and I thought maybe I could create a buffer of wonderfulness before the day turned to shit.

Mother Nature didn’t deliver her normal reds and violets for me (I guess she was sleeping in) and I couldn’t help feeling cheated by it all. I clicked as best I could to try to grab some decent shots and hope you find one or two here that appeal.

(As a footnote, the day did turn out dreadful and at the end of the day all I could do was try to ride it out. But that’s a separate story.)

It was towards the end of the day when I began to think about how everything played out and in looking for a positive, I revisited the images from the morning.

There have been many times when images like this would have made me very happy, but this time it just didn’t seem enough to make me happy.

Which got me thinking about the whole “when is enough, enough?” question.

The Merriam-Webster dictionary definition is ”¬†occurring in such quantity, quality, or scope as to fully meet demands, needs, or expectations”.

It’s an interesting concept; that we should be happy with “enough”.

I think in many cultures and throughout history, enough is/was absolutely seen as enough. But current times and in particular in American culture, enough is almost never enough.

We insist on more. For example look at how TV shows have altered this idea within a few decades. The Brady Bunch proposed that having six kids in a family was enough to write a mayhem-based comedy show in the early 70s. But by the end of that decade, the bar had to be moved higher to Eight is Enough.

In more recent years we needed that number to be 17, 18, 19 with that pathetic baby factory the Duggars. Could that be any more ludicrous?

But beyond family sizes, look at wealth accumulation … recent decades have produced so many billionaires that it now pales the late 90’s show “Who Wants to be a Millionaire?” into insignificance.

And all the time while these wealthy parasites look for more, so many people in the world are left with less.

Being a billionaire isn’t enough, they need to be president, using what used to be a civic office as a way to channel more wealth into the family. And at the same time, shutting the door on impoverished immigrant families or hurricane victims.

Which in truth finally brings me to the point of this ramble …. greed.

It used to be seen as one of the seven deadly sins. It was generally derided as a major character flaw. But now we applaud it on so many levels.

From that initial moment where we give our kids more birthday presents than we received. To the moment where we create a birthday party industry with outsourced event planners, party locations, entertainers. We ingrain this into children to where they will never be satisfied.

Then we medicate the ones that can’t live up to their own over-sized expectations and now suffer depression.

We develop bigger armies, weapons, and means of destruction than the next fifteen nations combined. Do we really believe there is even the remotest possibility that they are all going to gang up on us and attack?

We destroy rainforests and arctic preserves so that we can have more oil, timber, and minerals. Which in my opinion is not just a sign of greed, but also self-destructive lunacy as we lay waste a planet that our children and grandchildren are supposed to live on.

Our forefathers in justifying the need for militias wrote a second amendment as a right to bear arms. These men used muskets, knives, and swords. Those are the arms they wrote of. But recent decades have taken us to where “enthusiasts” equip themselves with not just one assault rifle, but many and more killing power than the troops we sent to Vietnam and Korea.

Even the whole Christianity concept which is supposed to be based on a simple carpenter’s son who healed the sick and devoted his life to the poor, has now become home of the mega-churches, where parking lots are filled with hummers and other oil-guzzling luxury vehicles.

We’ve heard all the justifications for biggest army, personal gun rights, oil and mineral industries. We’ve succumbed to much of the spin.

But at the end of the day (much like my day yesterday), we have to stop and slap ourselves in the face. Greed is a major flaw in humanity. It doesn’t really exist in many other parts of the natural world. It is simply a perversion that we have embraced, shone, and put on a pedestal.

But enough …ok? Enough.

Sunrise, sunset.

Yesterday evening, I wanted to celebrate my Mom’s passing (of a year ago) and so I chose to find a sunset, where I could float a candle that carried my thoughts to her.

It was to be a happy celebration of her life and not so much about the sadness of the loss. So I headed off to the eastern shore of Lake Parker, armed with cameras, candles, a board that would float, a note from Morgan, and a pen that would take care of my own words.

As I drove over there, I reminded myself that a couple of days ago I had just been on the western shore of the same lake watching the sun come up with a coffee (and camera, of course).

So, the first four pics here are of the sunrise and the second four are of the sunset. Hope you enjoy!

Once I got past the moment itself last night and my conversation was done, I drove back home and my mind drifted off the main matter of the evening and onto how different an experience sunset is from sunrise.

There are fans of both, so I would never mean to knock either, but by now I am definitely more appreciative of the former. In ways they can appear quite similar, colors, tones, shadows, but the mood is very different in my mind.

While sunset’s colors disappear into blackness, sunrise’s colors herald in whatever colors the day has in store for us. Blue skies, white clouds, green trees, and whatever else may happen.

So, shooting both from opposite side of the same lake really got me wrapped up in idea whole idea of the life cycle and it encapsulated the day as if it were a whole life.

If I apply this thought deeper into our lives, I look at the promise that each and everyone of us experiences as our sun breaks the horizon and ushers us into life. At that moment in time, our life could be anything.

We could be launching into a life of blue skies and sunshine or one with clouds, rain, and even an occasional storm. None of this is, of course, under our control and even though we can wear a hat or carry an umbrella, or stay inside in the air-conditioning, the day is still going to do what it will, without us.

So the degree of control we have is really only on how we handle the day, rather than the day itself.

There are those among us who feverishly worry and stress about there being too much sun or too much rain. They focus on the clouds on the horizon and worry themselves into a state of misery.

There are others who embrace the warmth of the sun, or the feeling of rain upon their skin and they adapt with either. They know full well that regardless, this day will eventually fade into darkness and they enjoy their day as they have it.

Some people focus entirely on the post-sunset moment. They devote their days to a belief that there will be an eternal day waiting for them once this sun has set. So they structure their day’s experience in order to fit with this ultimate promise.

There are even others who structure their day so that they can control and influence others into living their day in a prescribed way. Creating set rules, amassing stuff (wealth and influence), building walls on borders, and filling the day with hate and apathy.

Regardless of how we feel about our day, it will eventually have a sunset. How we have lived our day will matter little except to those who start their day tomorrow. Our children, loved ones, friends, and neighbors.

Will the fact that we had a day at all, impact positively on anyone of these, and will their day be richer for us having had our day?

If the answer is yes, then we spent our day wisely. If the answer is no, then we misunderstood what the sunrise was intended to bring us.

Regardless, it is one lake with two sides. The sun rises and the sun sets. Grab your canoe and paddle gently into it, being kind to your fellow canoers and breathing in your special day.

Less traveled

It was a stunningly beautiful start to the day yesterday and I decided to treat myself to a trail. Once the cats were fed, I grabbed my cameras and headed off to Circle B and I got there just around 7:30.

It was going to be a warm one and I figured it would be good to get some distance down before the heat began to encroach on the day. Plus by getting there that early, I was likely to find myself alone for most of the journey, which is what I wanted.

There was a moment (similar to a few weeks ago) where I encountered a divergent path and this time the choice was between a dry gravel covered path and a seemingly soaked path that really begged for waders rather than the Reeboks I had on.

I stood there for a moment dreading the prospect of getting cold wet feet, but eager to see what lay in the trees and bushes beyond. So I grabbed both cameras firmly and took a leap beyond the immediate puddle. I would like to say that my sprightly young leap easily made it to dry land but I didn’t and for the rest of my journey, I was accompanied by a pair of wet feet and ten squelchy toes.

Even if the puddle hadn’t gotten me, the rest of the trail would have. The grasses were soaked in dew and the ground soft from seasonal rains.

But as it turns out, it was the dew that created (in my opinion, anyway) the best pictures of the day as it added a wonderful succulence to the webs, leaves, and wildflowers along the way. I hope you like these pics; I have my own definite favorites.

Once I got home, showered and changed, the comfort of my desk as I browsed through the images allowed me to commend my decision-making and reinforced the old adage that sometimes it is right to take the road less traveled.

But my thought process extended beyond that, because it isn’t enough to just choose your own direction away from the herd. Sometimes you have to step off the beaten track, step out of your comfort zone, and risk getting your feet wet.

It won’t always yield the right result … there are many times when all you will end up with is wet feet!

But then there will also be times when you find something special, experience something that you otherwise might not have, or just find yourself in an altogether better place.

A whole industry has developed in “risk management”, we each know people who go out of their way to reduce the risk associated with anything they do. At every turn, most people seek to be safe and secure … personally, financially, professionally.

Even the Merriam-Webster dictionary defines “risk” from a totally negative perspective: “Risk: possibility of loss or injury”.

So, it is no surprise that we see risk as something negative. We have been preconditioned to do so.

And while I am not advocating throwing all caution to the wind and leaping carefree off tall buildings, I am saying that sometimes it is risk that leads us somewhere special.

There are few guarantees in life. Each of our lives reaches the same conclusion.

But along the way we each have an opportunity to explore and when we do, the journey becomes significantly more interesting.

Have a wonderful week and if presented with the opportunity, let your toes get wet. Chances are, you have some dry socks at home, anyway.

Nature Footprint

I had just put out the food for the little creatures yesterday evening and stepped back at the top of the stairs to see who would be first to the party.

The nightly party-goers are the Raccoons and Possums and of course the family of Cardinals have been getting there first this past week. I also (for the first time) spotted a pair of Thrashers the other evening, so I was curious … and armed with my camera.

The first arrival this time turned out to be a wonderful Blue Jay and he grabbed a piece of english muffin and flew up into the old oak tree with it.

My lens managed to find him as he nibbled away at it and I hope you like the images at the end of this post. I could see the disappointment in his eyes as his treasure feel off the branch to the ground below, but he did go and retrieve it, by the way, so all ended happily. I also spotted a tiny mouse run over to the bowl of fruit loops and run away with a prize.

As I dropped the lens and headed back indoors, it was with a sense of pride that my little family of outdoor friends seems to be growing.

To a nature lover, this is a good feeling …. knowing that you are helping some poor little souls get a treat or two without having to forage in danger for it.

And this developed into today’s thought … clearly the sign of an idle brain lol

Anyway, the thought is along the lines of what we now are aware of as a carbon footprint, but I am extending the thought into what I am calling our Nature Footprint. This is effectively the mark we leave behind us in our interaction with nature.

Do we take from nature or give to nature? Is nature better off for our presence or worse off?

Hunters and fishers, polluters and spoilers ….. would all have a negative footprint by my calculations. Rescuers, teachers, feeders, and promoters would all have a positive one.

Beyond our own recognition, their is no real badge or medal of honor. But when we go to sleep at night, we do so in the knowledge that we have impacted some little creatures’s lives in a positive way.

It doesn’t really cost much (for me, I spend probably less than a pack of cigarettes a day to do so), but the impact can be significant. Probably the most rewarding for me personally has been witnessing the recovery of a badly injured Raccoon, as she ate daily from the buffet over a period of months. The other night I saw her climb away within the oak tree with a barely discernible limp as she disappeared into the lush greenery of the old oak. Morgan named her “Eve” and she has our love and admiration for making it!

I bear witness in awe at friends and family who have devoted countless hours and even sleepless nights rescuing tiny possum, raccoon, and squirrel babies that would otherwise die after the hunters and drivers decimate their parents.

I rejoice at the stories of success as these little babies gain maturity and health at no small human cost. And I see the biggest hearts I know beating proudly in their saviors’ chests as they speak of the rescues.

I recognize the wonderful payback these people experience in the unbounded love of a wild creature. A love that the hunters, fishers, polluters, and spoilers would never understand.

I shake my head at the loss of humanity that has evolved to where our natural instinct isn’t overwhelmingly to care for these helpless creatures and that part makes me sad. Sad for the creatures and sad for those of us that know no better.

So perhaps the main point I am trying to make is that developing your own positive Nature Footprint is not just something that would have a positive effect on the natural world around you, but by reflection would enhance your own inner sense of pride.

Take a step and leave something positive behind … wild creatures’ smiles are immeasurably rewarding.

Finding symbolism

Morgan and I were binge watching a wonderful series last night on Amazon and in between episodes, as I went into the laundry room, I looked out the window and saw this wonderful hawk outside in the big old oak tree.

He was just checking out the neighborhood, I’m sure, looking for some take-away food.

Hawks are quite possibly my favorite bird . I know they are birds of prey and therefore not the most gentle of creatures but I love them on so many levels regardless.

I hope you like these pics and the little video I made out the laundry room window. He flew away right after these shots.

As I looked through his little visit this morning, I smiled. Whenever I am visited by a hawk, I always feel that my Dad has just visited me. Ever since he died, I always feel he is watching over me and that these hawk’s eyes become his in my life.

Which made me ponder this morning about the whole symbolism thing and why we search for it in our lives.

In many cases, I think it comes from a hole that appears in our lives and as we seek to fill it, symbolism provides us with a feeling of some kind of assurance.

We go through life very much alone in many ways. Despite family, friends, or religious persuasions, many of life’s challenges, pains, and pitfalls, are left for us to go through on our own.

Crutches that we can lean on along the way become very valuable and support our own inner strength to form the basis for our ability to make it through to the other side.

Symbolism often comes in afterwards to reinforce that we made the right decision, or battled through something of substance, or ultimately made the right call.

Loved ones often reaffirm that we did well, friends pat us on the back, or something of substance becomes our reward.

But in instances where the battle is only fought in our minds and hearts, and where there are no witnesses or rewards, we look for something else to provide the affirmation.

It can be the finding of a feather, the colors of the rising sun, or as in my case, the sudden appearance of a lone hawk outside my window.

But whatever it is, we shouldn’t dismiss it. We should embrace it and let it warm our soul and encourage our mind.

There is so much to life that we don’t know and will never know … maybe just the feeling of being watched over is more than enough to warm us against the loneliness of our journey.

Whether my Dad actually sees me or just haunts my soul with his love, is frankly irrelevant. Quite simply, it’s the feeling that truly counts.