Why I have not been posting very often of late
Yesterday I had an assignment for the New York Times Travel section to this part of California called Suisun Valley. I had never been there, it was quite nice and eventually I will share the photos and story when the Times runs them.
But, it was this tree that stopped me in my tracks as I walked around Rockville Hills Regional Park
I am no expert on trees, but as far as I am concerned it is a Manzanita tree. Even if it is not, actually a Manzanita tree, it brought back a flood of memories of my father, William Swift.
When I was growing up one of the things he loved to do was go for hikes in the Santa Cruz Mountains around Palo Alto and Cupertino where we were living and as I slowly followed behind I would always go up to the Manzanita trees and peel off their red paper-like bark. I was fascinated by them.
My father would always figure some way to come up with an explanation, often made up on the spot, usually involving some obscure pun or made up Olde English word or phrase. Once he was accidentally correct, when I asked him why the area of Los Angeles was called Tarzana, he said it was because it was named to honor the author of Tarzan, turns out to be true, he was surprised when he found out that was indeed the case.
I can not remember the exact story he told me about Manzanita trees, but it was something about Adam and Eve. It made sense to an eight-year-old, it made me smile, I wish I could remember what it was.
It was a beautiful afternoon, the sun was setting, I was mostly finished with the assignment which I loved. Everyone was so friendly, I was driving my wife’s awesome new car in the beautiful California countryside. Life is good.
This tree gave me a minute to remember my father who died in 2011, and more recently my father-in-law who died last month. So much of our lives have been on hold since that awful day when we heard he died. I have know there are no words to express the loss of a loved one, so I will let this tree, that means so much to me, speak to the love I have for both men and my entire family.