I have my father’s nose, and my mother’s disposition.
I have her hands, and his eyes.
His strength and resilience.
Her bleeding heart.
Her taste in music.
If my father were the sun, then she was Mother Earth,
and they orbited each other in the only way two broken souls know how to.
In 1989, wild fires burned 46,000 acres of the Idaho national forest clean away.
Long before I was even a blip on my mother’s radar,
these stumps were burnt and blackened, these boulders were cracking from the heat.
There were people who had lost their families and homes, long before I would lose mine.
Now, I recognize the veins in my feet as belonging to her, the way salmon remember the streams from which they spawn
and the long since charred logs have found their way into the rivers, creating pools for the fish to use as habitats.
If my mother was the lightning storms that lit those fires in Idaho, then my father certainly was the fire
and if my father was the fire, then my mother was the rains that cooled them.
In her absence, he just burns.
Everything around him burns,
But on the hiking trails in Idaho,
nature is at work rebuilding itself.
And the fire has made way for new life to grow.