Scuffing the snap twig trail with kindergarten shoes, my son and I mosey under the redwood umbrella’s and threw the streams of sun dust and unfiltered air. Unguarded woods present themselves to the morning peckers, their messages are in their natural morse code. The mind drifts with the piney air scents in wafting thoughts, are these feathered friends warning the day that humans are on their way, or is it simple conversations and bragging rights about their craftsmanship, and ability to drill the perfect hole.
My hand swallows up my son’s small innocent fingers, so soft and uneducated to the ways of man, it envelopes his hand so secure as not to let the outside world contaminate his barley formed finger prints. There is a special endearment and covenant between a father and his son, such that in this place of solitude, heroism is born and rightfully so, for nothing beyond a fathers power could endure this kind of love and protection. A full grown bear would sense the fortitude and relentless protection of a human parent and meander elsewhere knowing the challenge would not be worth the small size snack. And the bear himself knows of his own parental protection, sensing from caveman days ours is cut from the same cloth. He’s off fishing.
The silence breaks when the small angelic voice begins his questioning. The wonder in such eyes can never attain these innocents again. Daddy how come the birds keep singing, how come the trees are so tall, ewe what’s that smell, and so I tell him walk faster you’re your daddy’s leaking air son. He giggles as his shoes race to escape the laughter. I hold on to the little wiggle worm pretending barely able to keep pace. Now that I am a father, I have a much more prevalent awareness of how nature works, how the trees fit and cut the pattern of the sky perfectly, how the air falls in love with pine scents, why the shore refuses to release the small pond, why some creatures would give their own life so others may live, and why the sumptuous eyes of the seasons could not help but fall in love with the heart of nature.
We crest the foot hill trail and gaze out upon a small pond of mirrored water; all of her edges have been massaged into a neatness and softness. I imagine the rain fell here in this green lush valley and just decided not to travel any further. Here is waters heaven among some of the oldest trees in the world, and you can see the reflective color on the pond, I imagine that the water is the very color of Gods eyes. Even my son stops his curiosity and questioning. Bedazzled his little pinkish finger begins pointing at the turquoise water hole. The tops of the trees are sown thinly onto the skin cover of the lake. The ripples from Canadian geese make the mirrored pines tree tops shiver in a cold wet shine. Just then I realize we are here on our earth at just the perfect time. The old girl had waited for us to come along and tell her how beautiful she is. My son against this backdrop of wonder becomes too much for me to hold inside. My son ask me why are crying daddy, did you hurt yourself? Yes son I answer, daddy just hurt his heart. My son’s fingers wiggle in an effort to reach up to kiss me and make it all better.
Fatherhood, what words could ever explain it. I can just say that like the trees against the sky, it just fits perfectly. After answering fifty one more questions, we begin our walk back to the tent.
My mind begins to drift with the wind again and I find myself hoping that during his walks later in life he too has small pink hands to hold onto, one that calls him daddy.