I kick the dirt on the road as I walk home from school with my sister. The fine red dust settles on my black school shoe like it’s been sprayed on in a fine mist.
I peel off my school clothes.The cool water in the pool tingles my skin. My sister and I laugh and squeal out in the shock of the water. I get out of the pool and attend to my chores around the property, watering long patches of vegetable gardens, four of them. Then watering the saplings up the driveway, struggling to stay alive in the heat of their new home.
The sun is setting and I start my homework. My mother arrives home from a long day at work and she sets about cooking dinner. My father is absent from my mind and from my sight. I don’t long to see him. I have my mother who brings me joy and talks to me about my day.
My day, however, is empty and somewhat sad now that, at 34, I look back. There is some vital ingredient missing from my days as a young man. Something that would feed me to grow strong and provide direction. Like the tree-lings, I have nurtured them to grow and as my two sons run underneath their tall shadows, I know what I did had a meaning, it had direction.
I want to ask my dad about his childhood. What was his father like to him? Did his parents show him love? What defined him as to who he is now? How did his mind grow up to ignore the sun under his very eyes?
I wonder why I don’t understand my father. I just want to know these things to keep my own sons safe from this dis-ease of heart and mind. Perhaps in his answers is the secret to my mind’s mystery.
The opposite is not the answer. I need to find the cause to help me figure it out.
All I needed was someone to show me.