Saturday, June 15, 2013

matters of the heart

The smiling lad is my father. The length of his hair and the style of his boots makes me wonder if perhaps the picture was taken when he was home on leave. His army rucksack on the steps clinches it though.
He is sitting on the front steps, happily at work repairing a leather shoe.
Wedding shoes.
My parents married when he was home on leave in 1945.
It is such a joyous picture to me;
My young father, safely home and filled with hopes and dreams.
It is a joyous picture to me for another reason too.
My father is sitting on the heavy, hewn steps of my grandparents home.
It was my grandfather who felled the trees and shaped them into great steps at the entry to his home; the home my mother grew up in.
The dinner gong too was the work of his hands and it summoned more than one generation of children from wood and hillside, the forest echoing with its ringing.
And the cobble stones at my father's feet were grandpa's; practical and beautiful. Isn't it wonderful when practical things are beautiful?
My grandfather was a resourceful and creative man. A man of deep sensibilities.
He liked my father, his future son-in-law.
He welcomed him like a son.
They had matters of the heart in common.

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