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A Gift from My Daughter

Posted by on October 25, 2012

I got mad today, but I remembered something my daughter, Erin, taught me some thirteen years ago. I’ve learned a lot from both of my kids, Alex and Erin, but this one came from Erin. We had been backpacking for a few days in the Cohutta Wilderness and were on our way along the Jacks River toward the car, then only about three miles away. As we walked, we talked a lot about her experiences away at college, the beauty of the wilderness, and, I’m sure, other things that are now lost to me. Then we came upon a campsite that just made my blood boil. In the middle of this utter beauty, the campsite was littered with broken glass, cigarette packs, food containers, and feces, both horse and human. Because I had this naive idea that my seventeen year-old would be shocked, I managed to keep my language to just a moderately profane level. After I had carried on for a minute or two, I was snatched out of my rage by words I will never forget: “Daddy, what are you accomplishing?” That simple, but that profound. “What are you accomplishing?” So, we cleaned it up. And I have never forgotten the wisdom that my daughter shared with me.

About a mile downriver of George W. Andrews Lock and Dam, on river left, there is a beautiful sandbar… now. I’ll find a receptacle for the trash downriver somewhere. Thank you, Erin; it still feels good.

Before

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After

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3 Responses to A Gift from My Daughter

  1. Dave Wayment

    Hi Robert. Was just reading Erin’s words to you. How right she is! They need to be remembered at needful times, What a gift not just to you but me.(Lena) good to read how you are doing and see some of that tranquil river scenery.

  2. Katie Steele

    That is a very profound lesson that all of us could learn. But, there are times the “ranting and raving” does feel rather good – so maybe it serves as good harmless release value at times.

    • Robert Fuller

      I used to feel the same way about ranting, considered myself pretty good at it, in fact, but I’ve become convinced that doing something constructive feels even better, then and later.

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