It's late at night. I just got back from 11,000 feet back down to sea level. My muscles ache, my joints are barking like a big dog and I'm searching desperately for some joy in spending a day up there.
While ago we bought a cabin in the mountains with a friend of ours, sort of like a time-share if you would. We don't spend much time up there, but when I do go up there it seems I'm always working. The cabin was and is a complete house with all its furnishings and rather new, but it still has “work” to be done.
While I was up there I was telling my friend that my father had a house in the country and spent most of his life trying to build it, rebuild it and repair it. It seems to be my legacy now to do the same. The difference is that that house was built on the ruins of the old mill in a small village where he was born. He truly did enjoy working on it. I don't seem to have the same joy.
As I was turning the wheels, cutting the nights dark with my head lights and trying not to get my friend sick from my driving, I started remembering the house in Boomehen. How much I really hated going there, because every time we were there, it meant that I had to work. I just wanted to play.
When I visited the house couple of years ago, there was a huge persimmon tree in the middle of the yard, Dad's pride and joy. Along with this tree there were numerous other trees, couple of apple trees, a pear tree, grape tree, and a few hundred plants and flower bushes. I felt like Tarzan every time I entered the yard. But the persimmon tree overshadowed everything else. It was huge.
I went home again this past September. My father passed away. As much as I hated going to the house in the country, I did. He was buried in that village and we all went to the house after the funeral. House looked silent and empty despite the fact that there were hundreds of people there. I walked towards the middle of the yard and as I felt the void of my father, I noticed that the persimmon tree is gone. There was a trunk sticking out of the ground about three feet and the teeth mark of the saw still fresh on the trunk, where he cut it down. “What happened to the persimmon tree Mom?”, I asked with near anger. She answered with her head down, not wanting to accept that death either, “oh, it died this summer, so your Dad cut it down”. I was dumbfounded. Persimmon trees do not die. They are extremely hardy trees and grow with next to no water and very little care. “But how, why”, I asked again. Mom shrugged her shoulders upward and said, “I don't know, who knows”.
My cousin pulled me aside and said, “People in this part of the country don't think it's a good thing for an old tree like this to die”. I didn't know what he meant. “They see it as bad luck”, he continued.
I realized that the tree died just about a month before Dad did.
As I drove down the mountain, I thought of that tree and wished only one thing. I wished I had one single seed from that old tree. I would love to plant it in my yard and see that stupid tree grow, just like Dad.
With everything I had and didn't have everything I wished for in this whole wide world, that moment, tonight, I just wanted a persimmon seed. That tree is gone it will not fruit again and there are no seeds. I'll look for other means of keeping Dad's memory alive. God knows there are plenty.
I miss you and will miss you for the rest of my life, Baba.