Bigger than the weather

I admit I’ve sometimes imagined him strapped
to the mast on the deck of a ship, full gale,
laughing wildly into the howling wind.
Or bare chested, fording waist-deep snow,
scaling a far-off mountain with sherpas,
icicles hanging from his frozen chin: a testament
to the limits of human endurance.

But what I mostly see is the love and the depth
of Ohio winter’s that have shaped his context,
and they have since he was a small boy.
Long hikes with his grandpa through beech woods
in early morning, crisp dawn breaking the horizon
in a hundred shades of rosy hue, the landscape
bejeweled in cold, dry powder. This is how he
was raised.

And it was by his grandfather’s encouragement that
he would push himself. Make a big effort in small things,
taking himself into places one might not think mattered.
Losing himself in a challenge.
It translated into practicing pitches in the fading light,
running down grounders in the rain. All because
he admired him so, wanted to be like him
when he was older.

So when he says it, it isn’t a boastful statement,
just mere fact empowered by years of admiration.
Words don’t have to be full of import. Sometimes
they stand alone on simpler merits.
So, whenever he replies “bigger than the weather”
I often smile thinking just where that might come from.
And always suspect that he really is.

c. m. brooks
November 13, 2013

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~ by christinambrooks on November 13, 2013.

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