With Father’s Day fading in the rear view mirror, the years of watching the boys grow up offers a trail of bright moments of pure innocence. Nothing is as pure as “the walk” and the nightly ritual provided a foundation of connection in those early years.
The ritual may begin with excitement, disinterest or down right defiance. “No!” But the whoosh of grass, the crunch of the dirt path and pebbles, the scents of earth and stream, and the rhythm of movement resonate with the soul. Reverence for ritual and nature captures four two-leggers and one four-legger. The pack moves and a lightness emerges.
If a grumpiness remained, our faithful pooch, Ace, would break the ice with a signature crazy dog romp, or leaps over rocks and streams. The boys, young and spirited would whoop and chase after Ace mirroring the trademark moves of his herding breed.
Onward down the path, exploring nature and the inevitable variation of boy games of throwing or racing, each walk became unique as a fingerprint. Unique and the same all in one. Closer to the turnaround or a different path home, everyone was settled in and in a good space. An easiness prevailed and even Ace would find a rhythm matching the cadence of his boys.
Calm. Lightness. Light fading. Homeward.
Occasionally, one of the boys would ask for “shoulders” or fake tired, just wanting the view. I would squat down and hoist them up, anchor them above for the rest of the walk home. I never got tired of this. I could feel their joy of a higher space and a wider view in my bones. No ache or long day could ever hinder this connection. Even when the boys were preschoolers, I knew that some day they would be grown up and already above me.
And they are…