It’s a cold, blustery, day
In the distance, the neighbors are target shooting
The sound of each round echoes through the woods
It reminds me of something
The sound…it evokes a primal emotion within me, and it’s beautiful in its way
It’s the sound of safety…of preservation…of revolution
It is the sound of love blowing out the flame
All one ever deserved or has given comes back in the echo of that sound
I remember hunting with my dad in West Texas when I was little. He and I would ride on the tool box in the back of the truck, while my grandmother drove barely faster than a walking pace. I got to hold his rifle, as he scanned the desert for deer, his binoculars in one hand and a beer in the other.
That rifle was as long as I was tall and I felt very important because he trusted me to hold it. To me, it was like Batman handed me the key to the Batmobile. Well over forty years later, I can’t say I ever felt as honored or happy as I did holding Dad’s .30-06.
I miss being my dad’s lil shadow. He taught me so much and, in my eyes, he was larger than life. These days, at 93, he’s barely recognizable as the man he once was. His mind is going and, sometimes, I have to tell him who I am. But I know that big, tough, Marine is still living inside of him. He’s just taking a well deserved break. And I know that, whenever I hear a shot in the distance, he’ll awaken, again, living in my most cherished childhood memories.