I have been researching last names. Mother’s first. It goes back to ancient times and has two separate roots—one signifying friend, the other god. Though (if I keep diving) the same cluster of sound means good, which is just as well. Friends of god, friends of goodness, were they also good friends? I suspect the name only indicates a sort of gentility. I am slightly suspicious of such virtue.
A painter bore this appellative, who passed down in history. Not too famous, a portrayer of saints and madonnas in late Middle Age.
Then I search for Father’s last name, which defines a trade and doesn’t hint at nobility. I look for folks who shared it throughout the centuries. There’s a well-known musician. He grew up in an orphanage, but his talent led him forwards and up. His first name was also my dad’s.
I discover as well a mafioso, followed by a corrupted politician. I cringe. Then a poet/union activist/railroad-workers-hero evens up the sorts.
Wait. I just found one more item in the list.
It’s a forest. Yes, a forest is named like my father, can you believe it? No one I know knows this forest. It was man-made on the year Dad was born, in order to save a region from some ecologic plague. Through the forest, the area started breathing again: those trees became its lungs. It is huge, very quiet, only hosting a small hermitage. Otherwise humans don’t stride around.
No one I know knows this forest. I’m not sure of our relationship, beside the homonymity, but I recognized it on the spot. When I saw the picture I started breathing as well, as if finding long-lost lungs. Those trees have Father’s age. I suppose I could be their daughter, or niece. Likely the forest is my aunt. We are still very close.
But unlike an aunt, or Dad himself, I won’t worry about losing and grieving it. The trees will survive me. Though they grow half a planet away, they’ll take me when I'll pass. I will pass straight into my forest, where I namely belong.
Daddy’s name also starts with letter F. Now it all sounds so kin, so congenial. Father. Forest. Finally. Free.