“In the (fall) wind he’s still alive”

Fall is the brisk, cool air. It’s the oranges, reds, yellows, and maroons in the trees. It’s the apple cider and trips to the pumpkin patch. It was also my dads favorite time of the year…

Every year this time of the year I can’t help but feel my Dad all around. As soon as that first cold spell hits or the first leaf turns.

Last weekend a couple friends, my boyfriend, and I went salmon fishing and finally after hours of not catching anything in the last few years I hooked into and landed one. The first salmon from tie-up to landing all by myself. I’ve caught salmon before but it usually included my dad or uncle hooking it and handing over the pole. This time it was all me. And I couldn’t help but feel a whole new excitement and accomplishment. Sure it’s just a fish, but I felt my dad smiling down and all the memories we shared salmon/steelhead fishing came flooding in.

Yesterday was opening day of bow season. Another one of my dads favorites. And for the first time in idk how long I skipped it. Mainly for one reason. I hadn’t practiced shooting enough and wasn’t dialed in enough to be comfortable shooting at a deer. Life got in the way to be honest. And after school started it got even busier really fast.

So we’re on the second day of season and I still haven’t hunted. But I’ve been shooting every night and getting dialed in. Hoping to go out the end of this week and this weekend. As interesting as this sounds it’s part of a bigger picture.

Every time I’ve pulled back my bow this week I can hear my dad. Telling me pointers. Helping me become a better shot. Things like “squeeze the release trigger”, “put your bowstring right on the end of your nose in the middle”, “get your anchor point every time”(I don’t have a kisser button), “shoot as you breath out”. Just a few that he used to say over and over when we shot together all summer long. It’s like I should turn around and see him. Shooting was one of our “things”. Getting ready to hunt was one of our “things”. It’s what he lived for. Not only to hunt but to pass on the traditions and the legacy.

It’ll be 7 years this year. And yes every year fall still puts me on a high in the same way it used to when he was still here to share it with me. The day hunting season starts I have stories that last for days. I love fall for many reasons. The color, the cool air, hunting season, cozy blankets, flannels, sweatshirts, apple cider, etc. but I love fall the most because that’s when I’m the most connected to my Dad.

Now a days my fall or hunting season starts September 1st with early goose and duck season during deer season. But with these it’s different. My dad and I never goose or duck hunted. It’s a new season I’ve taken on with my boyfriend. Nonetheless I can feel my dad right beside me. God never ceases to remind me. Just when I need it most. Even if he’s not there to share the new memories with me I’ve got some pretty amazing people that have all contributed to continue making the best memories in the woods. Whether it be with my boyfriend shooting my first duck or goose or catching my first salmon on my own. Or sitting all day with my grandpa and shooting my first deer with a rifle. Or Jason my first deer with a bow. Or my Uncle Ryan the night before my dads viewing shooting my very. First. Deer. God gave me the best dad/hunting partner/ teacher. But he also gave me so many people that made sure the that legacy is still carried on.

When I sit in my tree stand I think over our memories and the ones I’ve had since then. Wondering what it’d be like if he was still here. I become overwhelmed with memories and often times emotions. I tend to get very emotional because I do feel my dad a lot in the fall. Hunting or fishing was when some of our best memories were made. It brought out the best in us.

Fall is my favorite season because “in the (fall) wind he’s still alive”.

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