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Spirit of the Redwoods for web DSC_2849

Spirit of the Redwoods for web DSC_2849

Episode 98. Delilah's Diaries - The Lemon Juice Caper
Daddy sent me a letter that was blank. For a long minute, I panicked, thinking he had lost his memory again. Then I remembered his sense of humour, as well as something from my childhood. So I turned on a burner on the stove and held the letter over it, and sure enough over the low flame his message materialized, just as it had long ago when he was showing me how to do it for a science project.
He had written using lemon juice for ink.
"Dear Delilah," the message read, "I hope you will forgive my little joke. I know you may be worried. But I couldn't help myself. It's been a funny day, and I just had to chime in.
"I'm alone in my camp now. The Mexican family got work through some relatives down in the valley. They wanted me to come too. Ay Bendito, they said (that's what they call me instead of my name - they're sure I'm simple-minded - guess it's because I don't talk much and smile a lot), Ay Bendito, a big rain is coming, a bad storm. We've got a place. You stay with us. At least until it's over, no?
"But of course I wouldn't and I didn't. I just tied the tent to some trees with a few extra lines and then hunkered down to wait. From time to time I had to chuckle thinking of my new name. Bendito. The Innocent. In Peru when I went there a few million years ago, I saw a man being let on a bus I was riding who was not required to pay and when I asked the driver about it he said it was because the poor man was an innocent and all the innocents rode free. So I'm in privileged company.
"The storm was a bad one all right. The wind came like a freight train and the rain like someone had opened the sluice gates to drain heaven. I thought even tethered to redwoods my tent would not last through the night. But however it did. And in the morning Bartolo made the climb from the valley with a box full of lemons and oranges he had helped harvest. Ay Bendito, he said, for sure God is holding you close. There have been mudslides everywhere. We feared for you. My wife lit a candle. We said prayers.
"And again he offered refuge and again I refused. I am too happy here. So Bartolo, he gave me a pat on the head as a blessing and asked all the saints to protect me. Then he left me alone and made his way down the mountain.
"I do feel protected somehow. Perhaps it is the spirit of your mother. When the mist rose with the sunrise this morning, I thought I saw her there. I cannot tell you the delight I felt. I had to laugh out loud.
"I used one of the lemons and a stick to write this. It has taken me quite a while and all the paper that I had. Bartolo came again and so I sent it down with him to mail.
"I hope you and Noah and Minnie and Barkie are well. May all the saints protect you too. Ha Ha. Love, Daddy Mac."
So that is my daddy the joker for sure. And for now he is safe and I am so relieved. I hope however that I do not get another empty letter. Because who knows the next one may not give up any secrets to the flame.
I have to go now. It is morning and time to make breakfast for the household I have left. I can hear Sir Barkie talking to the sun. I will write about us here in Nova Scotia next time. All the saints indeed.
29 November 2018
Texas Jim
Linholme, near Redwood Valley, California
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Keywords:California, Linholme, early, foggy, forest, ghostly, light, linholme, meditation, mendocino, mist, mountain, redwood, slopes, spirits, spooky, sunrise, valley, wispy, woods