Father’s day is Sunday.
It always reminds me of my dad and the adventures we shared.
I came across a video, the important places, about six weeks ago. I was incredibly touched by the story and the deep meaning of this short film.
By Gnarly Bay, Forest Woodward and friends
(You can access the video created by clicking on the picture above. It’s a bit under 10 minutes. You will not want to miss it).
Because of the strong memories I have of my dad and our family adventures, I knew I wanted to share this story and Father’s Day weekend is perfect.
Forest is a photographer that gives his dad the best gift anyone could have given him.
A new lease on life at the age of 70 and an adventure to live again.
Forest’s dad wrote a poem in 1986 when Forest was born, called The Important Places. He had almost forgotten about it as he set out on his own, but one day he came across it again and inspired him to do something that is truly touching. (You can see the poem here.)
Forest’s dad is 70 and Forest can see him slowing down.
Forty years earlier his dad had taken a group of scouts on a 10 day trip to the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon.
Forest invites his dad to recreate that trip from 40 years earlier. This time though, it would be a 28 day adventure.
Here are Forest’s words:
“Having never been to the canyon before, I had no idea what we would find,” he says. “But secretly, I hoped we would find the missing part to the time machine that I was building, the piece that would take me back to 1970, to know Dad as a young man, and in that, to learn something about myself.”
What an incredible gift Forest gave his Dad.
My Dad passed away many years ago, still a relatively young man by today’s standards but,
My memories are thick.
My Dad loved to fish and hunt ducks, geese and deer. But he always came back to fishing. I think he loved that he could have the thrill of catching a bass and releasing it to fight another day.
- Vacations – always found a place to fish.
- Summer nights – always found a pond or lake to fish.
- Move to a new city – priority one was to find a pond or lake to fish. (yes he did this) He would find it, then surprise me with a trip to the lake the first week we were in our new city.
Over the years, as I set out on my journey, which took me to Oklahoma, Arizona, Idaho and Colorado, my dad always asked if I was fishing or did I find a place to fish. My first Christmas in Idaho he gave me a fly rod as a gift, hearing that Idaho had excellent fly fishing.
One of the last times we were together before he passed away was, naturally, on a pond in Idaho. I had scoped it out before his visit, knowing we would want to fish.
We fished that pond hard for two nights, but did not have much luck. Finally, on the second night, with almost no light left, my dad caught a nice largemouth bass.
Nice fish, I yelled across the pond.
He held it up for me to see, smiled and admired the fish for a long time. Gently releaing the fish, he mentioned it was time to go.
That was the last time I fished with my dad. I cherish all the times we fished together and it certainly reminds me to,
Get back to the important places.
Places of joy.
Places that make me come alive.
Where are your important places? Have you been there lately?
To all you Dad’s out there, Happy Father’s Day!