Wednesday, August 19, 2009

And Here You Are At The Ripe Old Age Of...

You turned 24 the summer you wooed me on the English River; you were a young boy then with hair. I remember that first hour in the canoe- we didn't have a cadence yet, having not had time to create our own rhythm...your powerful strokes backing up my underdeveloped ones. It would just take time...and rushing water, and whispers, and rain, and a bear, and chocolate chip pancakes and a little game of word association:

I said ring, you said 'the nickel on my finger'.
I said red, you said 'the station wagon I used to drive'.
I said ice cream, you said 'Ben and Jerry's'.
I said giggle, you said 'you'.
I said pussy willow, you said 'Colorado'.
I said mountain, you said 'Alaska'.
I said hot, you said 'your showers'.
I said sand, you said 'beach'.
I said stink, you said 'fart'.
I said soft, you said 'your legs, sometimes'.
I said death, you said 'Timmy'.

At the end of our trip we came along the shore, right below the road at Sioux Lookout and you were anxious to get out of the canoe here and walk a mile down the road to the car. I was apprehensive. I think you could feel my discomfort. You took my hand, and I started to calm down a little bit. As we walked, you kept smiling at me. Our hands were swinging back and forth and as they swung forward you switched your stride so that we fell into a rhythm with our feet. It took us a few days to get our rhythm down in the canoe, but only after these few steps on solid ground I was pretty certain that we would have a nice cadence in our dance together through life.

Paul Bunyan, I'm sorry that you're always traveling on your birthday...and I'm sorry that I could only fit a hat from Sha-Sha into my backpack to give to you at gate F12 in the United terminal at O'Hare...and I'm sorry I didn't have a babysitter waiting for us when we arrived home so we could go play, like we were 24 again...and I'm sorry I couldn't have gotten you that new chainsaw you want...and I...and I...and I

And I am so lucky that you don't really mind about all that stuff and that you just feel lucky to have me walk, in step, beside you, and that sometimes our rhythm is good in not just a canoe but also in places that I can't talk about here, and I promise to always make myself feel like it's summer and then we'll always be in sync, for ever and ever and ever.

Happy Birthday PB. I'll love you long time...just keep in step with me.

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