Sunday, September 30, 2007

A Walk in the Woods

It was a gorgeous morning today. Ben and I lolled around reading the papers, watching Thomas the Train and eating the world’s best vegan pancakes until nearly noon. We had to get outside.

Last week I bought a trail-a-bike for Ben, and he loves it, though he is not yet a willing pedaling partner. We went for a short ride, then swung into the Leslie Science Center and parked the bike. The trails in the park loop back to a place called Black Pond, which is just a wet spot now, since it’s been rather dry. But it’s nice and hilly, and the sun filtering through the trees was perfect. And, it’s literally in our backyard, just a stone’s throw from our apartment door. My Dad, who is recovering from some surgery, drove the short distance to the park and met us there.

The sight of my 82 year old father and my 3 year old son hand in hand in the woods was strangely mystical. I never thought I would see this: partly because I put off parenting for so long and partly because I never thought my dad and I would be living so close to each other.

But there they were. The woods, the sun, the autumn air: a fine walk in the park. As I watched Ben run far ahead of me on the trail today, sunlight speckling him, I thought there really is nothing in the world that fills me with a sense of calm like I feel watching him. I know there will be times of heartbreak ahead, as we encounter a society that does not for the most part welcome black men. I will need to keep this image in my head, and preserve it for him, to show that there are places on earth where all are welcome.

Maybe someday, 79 years from now, he’ll take the hand of his grandson and walk into the sun dappled woods, his own daughter trailing behind and feeling both wistful and fortunate.

2 comments:

Cloudscome said...

This is really beautiful. You know I treasure these moments too. I believe they soak into our and our children's hearts and souls and give us hope and strength. Peace to you and yours.

Cynthia Bostwick said...

And to you and yours, sister. Thank you--this was a lovely way to say it.