My friend Sarah Pope came out to my neighborhood to visit me on the evening of Father's Day. Both of our Father's have passed away, and we thought this might be a nice time raise a glass in their honor.
Sarah and I try to get together every couple of months to check in and catch up. We are both dance educators, performers, and have collaborated on countless dance projects. We usually discuss how are teaching is going, what performing we are doing, and generally, get off our chest the frustrations of our life as artists.
We also make time to laugh, and sometimes cry a bit.
This Sunday evening was no different.
Except this time we decided to take a walk through the neighborhood since the weather was picture perfect. We strolled down to the water, and then by some of the million dollar homes that have views of the bay. We marveled at the pristine gardens around these homes and how they are perfectly manicured. We remarked on the statuary and elaborate fountains.
Eventually we started making our way back to my apartment and we came across a climbing rose tucked into a small garden bed. It was growing up the side of a modest row house. We stopped to smell the roses. A gentleman with a full head of white curly hair waved and smiled at us as he put his garbage out on the curb.
We waved back and noticed his small patch of yard was filled to the brim and spilling over with roses, Lilly's, borrage. We commented on the beauty of his garden, and he started speaking to us about his plantings. It was hard to understand what he was saying because his accent was so thick. I did gather from his broken English that "He keep planting and forget. I keep planting more." Like many men, I think he was struck by Sarah's beauty, and plucked a small branch of roses and gave it to her. She graciously accepted them and we both complimented his patchwork garden. We wished him a good evening and went on our way.
We discussed what his accent might be?
The sun was starting to set and we were entering the "magic hour". The color of the roses popped like a bowl of peach sherbet.
When we got back to my apartment we put the roses in a crystal bowl my neighbor Arlene had given me.
Sarah and I said our goodbyes as I walked her to the train. While I walked back home I reflected on this Father's Day. I thought to myself, what a simply perfect way to finish it.
As I write this I am looking at the bowl filled with the roses, and am reminded how important it is to stop and smell them.