I cannot remember exactly when it was that working with my dad on the restoration of our log cabin in the country was transformed from misery to mystical. Certainly not in the beginning, when I was removed from the company of my peers in the city to remove trash from the interior of the 1840’s structure, practically indistinguishable from the trash itself. Nor was this transformation present during its relocation as we dug the basement in the rocky Missouri soil, seemingly either powder dry or muddy at any given time, and then hitting bedrock at four feet deep.
No, those were the days I was held captive by my jailer dad in an area so remote as to have no access to the airwaves for cellular communication, no electronic social media such as text messaging so basic for teen survival.
In my isolation, I went through several stages of grief including anger and bargaining – I think I missed denial – until I settled on acceptance. By then I had learned that my dad was neither cruel and ignorant nor super-human. I discovered a curious new form of communication, not requiring electronic technology, or even words.
My dad and I communicated better with the distraction of the work – but it was the silence between us that spoke the loudest – a silence not of the awkward kind but the peaceful kind; an understanding reached between a loving father and son working in unison toward a common goal. I knew when he needed more nails, he knew when I needed help lifting a log. We both knew we needed each other.
Our simple tasks were noble with rhythm to it. The wood in the logs came to life with our heartbeats, our sweat, speaking truths.
I hope I shall never finish working on this log cabin; never stop the silent dialogue.
Millions have seen the unauthorized version of this story. Here finally is the authorized version. Enjoy and ask us questions if you please.