|Two Boys Climbing
The quest was not for words not said,
on rocky, trying trails ahead.
Any climb would serve just fine.
Wolves and winds would howl and moan.
Insect bites caused us to groan.
On our own, the trials are fine.
He pulled me up and flashed a glance.
I nodded back and grinned askance.
The day was cool, the journey fine.
Place and time were trivial.
Sharing the reach, convivial.
Finding a friend, finer than fine.
“I DON'T WANT to care for anything that demands my attention
every minute,” my Mother would say. This time she meant the
miniature Bonsai trees that my Dad had lovingly nurtured over five
decades. She had enjoyed watching his works-in-progress over
the years. And it kept him out of her kitchen. But
now, he just couldn’t do it anymore. At Ninety-three, his
memory had diminished to a point that he knew he couldn’t keep
loving, and pruning daily, his marvelous revisions.
“Kenneth, you should give them to
that nice Japanese man who comes to see you on Saturdays,” she
said. “And to the young fellow in your Sunday school class
who is so interested. Let them take their pick and throw away
Mother loved us. She
cared about everyone, all things animate or otherwise, but she
insisted that everyone be responsible for themselves and their
possessions. It seemed harsh at times. But she had the right
to feel that way. My dad knew it all too well.
One Sunday when Dad’s church doors opened, the first members
entering let out shrieks of surprise. There, in every seat on
every pew, sat a freshly watered, healthy bonsai plant. When
everyone showed up for the service, there was a big smile on every
face. They understood that these were truly gifts of love.
Mother was not likely to hug us with
hysteria, lavish us with sloppy love, nor flower us with
foolishness. Dad, on the other hand, hugged us, lavished us,
and this day flowered everyone with his most prized adoration, other
than Mother, his beloved Bonsai.
They both loved us in their own
way. And love was all we would need.