I was reading a friends Facebook page where he had posted a song that he sings to his son to put him to sleep. It's not a lullaby or even a child's song, but a song by Brian Eno. I got to thinking about being sung to sleep as a child. It may have happened but I don't remember. I do remember, however, singing, with my dad as a kid.
Generally the singing would happen on a road-trip somewhere. Generally they were Christmas Carol's that were sung too. My dad could not carry a tune to save his life. My mom on the other had was an accomplished, even semi-professional singer. So, of course our singing was pretty unpleasant to her, I'm sure.
I was recently on a nature walk in northern Dauphin County. I don't want to call it a hike, because it was pretty flat and was a cleared path owned by the Game Commission. A hike to me equals some sort of physical strain, getting smacked in the face with branches, poison ivy, etc. This walk followed along Stony Creek. This is a place my dad would take me fishing when I was a kid. Now, fishing as/with a kid usually resulted in "hey, I think I got something!" Um, no, you have your hook stuck in the tree/rock/shirt, etc. I would often come home with Box Turtles that I would keep for about a week in the cellar window well. Then my dad would return him from where he came from. There would be snake sightings as well where my dad would quietly point out a Black Snake sunning himself which usually resulted in a shrill scream from me and the snake taking off like a shot. Sometimes I would see a snake on my own, when I ventured out to "use the facilities?" I would quietly come (running) back, having NOT used "the facilities."
While on this recent walk in the woods, I left the path to walk down by the creek. I could hear it from the path but couldn't see it through the woods. Finally I saw it, a bend in the creek some water rushing over rocks, and a sandy shore. Suddenly I had the overwhelming feeling I had been there before. I thought there would be no way of knowing if I had been to that exact spot in the past, maybe with my dad. The woods do seem to all start to look the same since there are no real landmarks. I did lose my way trying to get back up to the path. Kind of scary for a moment.
It was kind of nice being in the presence of my dad again, down by the sandy shore, even though my dad was only there in spirit. I miss those days of hanging out with him and discovering a new creature, the excitement of catching a fish...or rock...or tree.