Day 16: Feather.
It is Father’s Day, the second Father’s Day since my dad died. A year ago I went to the cemetery where we’d buried my father’s ashes. We’d had the memorial service just a short time before Father’s Day and there wasn’t a marker on his grave. It is a Green Cemetery (or that section is, anyway) and so it isn’t a manicured lawn, but a natural hillside of eucalyptus trees and dried grass.
That Father’s Day was my first visit to the site alone. Well, not alone, as I has my parent’s dog, Molly, with me.
Like today, it was windy, though today was much warmer. There were flowers from the memorial service that day. Today I brought flowers and found others that my sister had left. I was so touched when I saw that she’d left her graduation tassel.
Last year, after I’d had a visit, sang a little and cried some, I was walking back across the hill to the path and I found a beautiful feather with wide brown and white stripes. I hadn’t seen it on the walk to the grave and exclaimed when I saw it. I picked it up and took it back to tuck into the flowers on my dad’s grave.
Walking back once more toward the path, I looked down and found a second feather! This one was a deep, rich blue, probably from a blue jay. It was beautiful. Once again, I picked up the feather, turned around and took it back and put it with the flowers and the other feather. Finding these two different feathers felt like some kind of positive sign to me and I left with my heart somewhat lifted.
After that, I kept seeing feathers. Maybe they’ve been around me all along and I wasn’t paying attention, but for awhile it seemed like I would see a feather every few days! At first I noticed them and thought it was kind of coincidental, but when I mentioned it to a friend, she suggested I collect them. I started to pick them up.
I opened my car door and looked out as I put my foot out and there was a feather. Walking across the parking lot at work, I would find a feather directly in my path. I picked up feathers while hiking with Kathleen, I found them in the patio of my apartment and at the Farmer’s Market.
I didn’t really feel like they were a message from my dad, though maybe they are. They just felt like a positive thing. At first I wasn’t really looking for them and they just seem to appear in my path but after awhile I was paying more attention and keeping an eye out. In fact, on our recent getaway weekend, I found several feathers on the beach. It made me think of my father.
When I would visit Fernwood, I kept an eye out for feathers. Especially like either one of those special feathers I found a year ago – the wide stripes of brown and white, and the deep blue. I haven’t ever found another feather there until today. Today I found a wide scattering of black feathers. Eventually, while gathering this offering of feathers, I came across part of their former owner.
I thanked the bird for its feathers and said I was sorry it had died. I hope that it gave some nourishment to a creature or creatures up (or down) the food chain. But I was pleased to find this swath of feathers on the hillside on and around my dad’s grave.
I have not found a blue feather or a feather with wide brown and white stripes. Yet.
I created this spread at the Collage Cafe with Virginia Simpson Magruder of Kentucky Girl Designs. I was able to use many of her supplies as well as her guidance. I told her about finding feathers and showed her some of my bird images. She brought out some rubber stamp fonts and I picked out a great background stamp and the page happened layer by layer.
After I took these pictures earlier today, I added one thing: the words “father’s day” over the date. So it doesn’t show in the larger pictures of the page.
The intense, blue-eyed bird just worked with this spread. I don’t know what kind it is and it doesn’t remind me of my dad, although he DID have blue eyes. But birds and feathers are on my radar these days and so, that is what I crafted for today.
For Day 16 last year I Handcarved a Rubber Stamp.
For Day 16 the year before that I crafted a Shrinky Dink Key Ring. Check it out!
Thanks for making it with me so far in the 30 Days of Creativity project. I’m glad you’re here.