29 Alturiak 1489

Hunting my way towards Mirabar. Should be able to make plenty of coin there after a week’s worth of hunting, especially if I can track down this bear the innkeeper mentioned. Been harassing the villagers a bit, nothing series yet, but if it can’t find enough food coming out of hibernation, things will get worse. Found a few tracks, but snow has covered them deeper in the trees.

Making camp for the night.

Thoughts still focused on my father, makes it hard to meditate and rest. I miss him every winter. Days keep getting longer now, more time to hunt, distracts me, but everything floods back at night.

The man lost so much; how did he remain so stalwart, so positive? Our time in Loudwater was tenuous, but stable for the most part. Getting started was difficult, painful. I don’t relish the memory of those first few weeks; unsavory “errands” for unsavory people. “Survive” is all my father would say about it.

At any rate, it did allow him to buy some “new” leatherworking tools. He started helping with small repairs for a copper at a time, eventually earning enough to buy some arrows. He also found a man who needed some repair work done on several items, and who happened to have an old longbow he was willing to part with in exchange for those repairs.

Carrying the arrows in one hand and the bow in the other, I was able to start some small game hunting again. Kept us fed, built up some modicum of skins, furs.

It was a long, slow grind for months, but my father made quite the name for himself in the less reputable part of town. We had nowhere else to live, and no one in the wealthier parts of town would give us the time of day, “mangy” as we were.

More than a decade we spent repairing our lives, rebuilding ourselves. Around the time I was 50, decades after coming to Loudwater, my father was able to afford to rent a proper shop in a marginally nicer part of town, which would also double as our home. At least there were fewer rats.

With my hunting to supply the store and his leatherworking skills, we were able to live modestly, comfortably. Much of the pain of losing our home would subside, but it was always there – it’s still there.

When I wasn’t hunting, my father would show me a few tricks and techniques he used – took me on as an apprentice of sorts. I certainly didn’t have his natural skill, but I’m at least passable at patching up my leather because of him.

We built a stable life together, he and I. He made it a pleasant life, though. Always looking ahead, never behind. Positive, happy. Taught me to take the long view.

Son, 8 generations of Rensha will be born and die before you leave this world. What would it mean to harbor anger against one of them for that long?

was his response when I asked him how we wasn’t angry for the loss of our home, how he could not seek vengeance.

And if it doesn’t make sense to harbor anger for 700 years, then what sense does it make to harbor it for 70 years? 7 months? 7 minutes?

We don’t have to forgive; we’ll never forget, but we can’t let it destroy us from within. We move forward, and only forward.

Patience. Fortitude. These are things my father taught me. That night, and every day.