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.