I was back at the lake with dad when I was about nine or ten, just me and him, nobody else around, and we were in Grandma’s cottage, a few months after it got moved down the hill closer to the water. He was heading out to fix her dock because a storm had torn it from its foundation. Before leaving the cottage he gave me a copy of Johnathon Livingston Seagull and with a look in his eye that I had never seen before, he told me to read it, so I did. It’s a thin book and I was able to finish it by sundown, when he got back. The first words he said to me upon re-entering the cottage weren’t words at all, as he was smiling not speaking. It wasn’t a big smile. He rarely smiled big. It was more of an approving glance. I remember thinking that he was thinking something good about me and that made me feel good about me. Then he asked me what I thought the book meant and I couldn’t find the words to describe how I was feeling. The critics slayed it when it was published. But I still think about that day. And I still think about my dad’s face as he re-entered the cottage. And I still think about Johnathon whenever I see a seagull.

7 thoughts on “Seagull

  1. I read the book out loud to my grandmother. She went to sleep, but I kept reading out loud and when I finished, I switched off the lights and left the room. In the morning she said she really liked the ending, but she couldn’t quite remember what it was. I told her and she said, yes, now I recall. Love catches up to all of us. The seagull knew the score. Nice post! Thanks. Duke

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Somewhere in there is a sentence along the lines of “you teach best what you most need to learn.” All these years later I still hear that in my head several times a month.

    Such a good book. Thanks for the memories.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I first read that book while I was living on the Oregon coast with friends. To this day, mention of the book brings back memories of brown rice and jasmine tea and feeling very free. And of course the gulls constantly trying to steal our food! Seagulls love peanut butter. Such a lovely thing your father shared with you.

    Liked by 2 people

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