By 4 o’clock my dad, far older than most dads, drove up the incline of the narrow driveway at the end of a long day.
Since 3:30 my yellow swimming trunks were on as I waited on the hewn stone step at the top of the drive.
All I did was stand up and smile shyly, hopefully, and my tired dad’s face transformed into a mirror of me, a shy joy.
Once inside he ascended the stairs two at a time and changed not fast enough from dark blue into yellow, laying his clothing on the bed just so.
Like my own excited pitter-patter, he descended rapidly one step at a time, careful not to fall.
Mom fussed to get into my Dad’s hands two “beach towels” as I jumped from the high step onto the driveway, which downward slope hurried us away.
The humble road to the lake had a nonnegotiable commitment to create pot holes year round. Encountering the first large pot hole, looking straight ahead I raised my small hand confident my dad would grasp mine with his.
The two blocks to the beach had endless curves and detours around potholes.
We secretly cherished the road’s commitment to pot holes. They slowed cars to a crawl, making our walks to the beach safe and we could say "Hi" to the drivers..
For us pot holes were a playful game, figuring out the way, turn left here, then right there, and at last, my favorite one, a two footer, designed for two feet to land at once for a gigantic two footer splash.
We didn’t realize it then that this road was a rehearsal for our lives.
There is no one path that goes all the way in the same direction but one curve leads to a new direction, just as one person leads to the next.
When we arrived at the slope to the beach, my little hand wiggled and my dad gently let go,
Trusting his long awaited son, just as he believed in the goodness of everything.
When he waded in, we walked deeper into the water up to my neck, and then he lifted me. I put my arms around his neck, his around me, and he walked deeper still until the water reached his shoulders.
We stood still as we looked in opposite directions.
Holding and being held, we were content.
copyright John Holliger 2015