How beautiful a day can be
When kindness touches it!
When kindness touches it!
It has been an incredible week for feathers, humbling and emotional, bright and full of untethered hope and encouragement.
My friend David, who has been with me since those long-ago-days at Barnes and Noble back in the safe confines of The Shire-like Midwest, who I have known longer than I have known Ken, and who has been as true as steel, sent me an incredible box full of every kind of feather imaginable, from giant, magnificent parrot feathers––metal blue on one side and sunlight gold on the other––to the tiniest, most delicate fluffs of white no bigger than a baby's fingernail. There are no words to express my awe and gratitude at his generosity and faith in me. I love him like I love the Russian Olives, like I love the appearance of the flowers on the Lindens, like I love the first true day of Spring.
Lori, my faithful friend, first blog buddy, and published author, and her wonderful husband Tom, sent me a peacock tail feather that dazzles my eye. It was tucked into a box that contained an incredible afghan that Lori spent weeks crocheting just for me. While it arrived in the hottest day of the year and won't be getting much use for quite awhile, it is sure to bring as much comfort on a cold winter night as her feather will on my flight. Meeting and getting to know Lori and Tom has brought me unspeakable joy and I am forever in their debt.
Jyoti, another amazing person I met through our blogs and a shared love of Golden Retrievers, sent a gorgeous card with a beautiful dog print and a single beautiful feather tucked inside. It is striped and soft, as vibrant and strong as her spirit and will make an excellent traveling companion. Jyoti is the owner of Sedona Body and Soul in Sedona, AZ. If you're in the area and need a massage, or have health issues that you'd like treated holistically, please pay her a visit and let her know Duncan and Curt sent you. She's a remarkable person and I'm lucky to have found her.
Kemia, one of my oldest and dearest friends, sent a feather she found recently while visiting Croatia. I have known Keem since before I could grow a mustache and have been blessed by her place in my life every day since we first spoke. She has seen me through my awkward adolescence, the challenges of college, and the triumphs of becoming the man I am. Few people have had the kind of faith in me that she has and my life has been forever altered and improved for her place in it. On her card she wrote,
"My sole intention for you since my journey began was to cast you bravely into the world, and every step along the way I have meditated upon you and wished and prayed for your heart to be still so you can easily take flight. So, so many places await you and require your artists eye and writers pen..."
Thank you, Keem. From the bottom of my heart. You are an inspiration.
I received a wonderful letter from my father who included an ink drawing of a feather. His words of encouragement moved me deeply and knowing his feather came from his own hand, was drawn with love and faith, brought me to tears. Thank you, dad, for your belief in me. It means more than you will ever know.
And finally I received a packet of feathers my mother sent. Several weeks ago on Memorial Day she and Kevin and my uncle Dennis visited my grandparents grave only to discover several feather laid out neatly near Grandpa's headstone. My grandfather was a dedicated fly-fisherman and spent countless nights tying his own flies, many of them from the feathers he found on his long walks. Mom grabbed them, knowing how much they would mean to me, how remarkable they were. I miss you, Grandpa. Thank you for your gift. Skinadinkinaw!
And thank you to all the people who have supported and encouraged me on this next phase in my recovery. These past few weeks have touched me deeply, brought me to tears, overwhelmed me with the goodness and generosity out there in the world. I am the luckiest person alive to have been touched by so many remarkable souls and wonder what I possibly could have done to deserve so much kindness. I cannot express how deeply you have all impacted my life, strengthened my spirit when I need it most, and brought one silly man in Colorado so much joy.
As a reminder, my family and I will be leaving for Buffalo on Wednesday of next week. If you'd like to send me a feather it's not too late. While I will never stop accepting your feathers, the deadline for entering my contest will end on the 15th when one lucky winner's name will be drawn to receive a thank you prize from Duncan and myself. To request my address please send me an email with the words, "Feathers for Flight" in the subject line. The winner will be drawn on the 15th. Please include the name and kind of pet/s you have, if that's the case.
Again, thank you all.