For my gift to you this year, my dear Dad, I've created a "poem in pictures."
On my run this morning, on this perfectly blustery golden autumn day, I thought of how you first introduced me to running and how I do much of my deeper thinking (something you're quite an expert on) while I run. Of course, I also thought about how amazingly beautiful the leaves were since autumn leaves will always be tied to you and all the lovely memories I have of jumping in the leaves for your birthday ever since I was a little girl.
I stopped to take photos of beautiful leaves and realized that the pictures I captured nicely represented some of the things I love about you.
You're all about contrast (like the bright yellows against this dark trunk). You a man's man with your love of sports and cars and all that good stuff. But you also love the finer things in life - classical music, great art, good food.
A Poem in Pictures for my Dear Dad
You can always find a way to do just about anything (like this little path that persists through the grass). You know how to make things happen and you don't take "no" for an answer if you think something really can and should work.
You've got the beautiful yellow of maturity, great wisdom and peace with yourself and with life, combined with the the bright green of youth that will always be with you since you're still a kid at heart in so many ways. I love seeing you be so silly and fun with my kids!
You personify pizzazz - whether it's your crazy outfits or your brilliant out-of-the-box ideas.
You can find the bright spot in even the hardest things - you've taught us all to see all the wonderful things about every hand we're dealt and every situation we find ourselves in. Where some people just see dead brown, you see interesting patterns and an interesting and lovely yellow streak.
You are amazingly bright. You're so quick and so smart. You've got a good idea when it comes to just about any issue under the sun.
You have a unique ability to combine somber seriousness about sensitive subjects (the darker leaf) with creative and beautiful solutions (the pretty speckled leaf).
You are unique. You fully embrace your uniqueness and are never afraid to be yourself. You've taught us all that "different is good."
You're not afraid to stand alone or to state an opinion that isn't popular. You're true to what you believe and what you know. You're fiercely loyal to what you know is right.
You've taught us all to embrace adventure and hard things, to reach outside ourselves to broaden and contribute in ways that are often uncomfortable but ultimately bring us great blessings. (See the solid red of learning and growth in the middle surrounded by the black and yellow marks of hard work and challenge and excitement - they go together to make such beauty.)
You feel and express deep and beautiful love for your family (especially your amazing wife), your faith, and all your blessings. You constantly strive to "love more." I loved watching you tenderly take care of your dear mother and seeing you work hard through prayer and action to help each of us as we go through trials. (This red and pink leaf made me think of love. And it's orange edges made me think of the determination and strength of your love.)
You surround yourself with interesting people and beautiful things - some of which anyone would find beautiful, some of which might not appear beautiful to many. You seek after goodness and beauty constantly and treasure it where you find it.
We're excited to jump in the leaves with you this afternoon and really celebrate! The wind has blown off tons of leaves and we've got some perfect spots picked out for jumping.