Return of the Red Fox

IMG_3144By nature, I’m fond of schedules that serve ballast-like, no matter the chaos of life’s external events and my internal creative ones. These blog postings appear on Wednesdays and Saturday. But not yesterday. Yesterday was, instead, taken by my father who may arrive at his 93rd birthday in the hospital; being 92 let alone being 93 isn’t a such an easy thing to be. It seems the flu was too much for him. Last night I climbed beside him in his hospital bed, cuddled close. This is something I’ve never, as an adult, done before, not during any of the many times I’ve spent time with him when he was very sick, at death’s door, in the hospital. Last night the distance the bed rails made between us was too much. My dad’s mind is a bit confused right now, but when I asked if he liked me being in his bed next to him, he let down his guard, or what the hell ever it is, and said, “This means the world to me.”

My father isn’t the red fox of this story. Rather, I often refer to him as the energizer bunny because despite enormous difficulties—health and otherwise—my father is incredibly tenacious, and has just kept on going and going, beating the drum of his life. The fox of this story is actually a fox.

In today’s news I read that the red fox has returned to Yosemite Park for the first time in over 100 years. A fox has been viewed via remote motion-sensitive camera. According to a reporter from Capitol Public Radio, “The Sierra Nevada red fox of California is one of the rarest mammals in North America, likely consisting of fewer than 50 individuals.”! (Exclamation point mine.) And there, in the photograph, that fox is walking, head-up, bushy tail behind him between trees across the snow—clearly on his way somewhere.

Today I’d like to celebrate the nature of return—the light, as spring gets nearer; a handsome red fox; childhood intimacy between a daughter and her father.