The Old Man Oak

From the barn to the river was a journey just long enough to travel from one world to the next.  And as I made that journey once with an old man I deeply loved, I have made that journey a thousand times since.

I loved opening that big, red, barn door, a mere movement by a grown man, but a mighty task for a young boy trying to be like his grandfather, longing that some day he too might be wise and well-worn.  On that morning, the weathered, long-seasoned old man retrieved a shovel from within the shadows of that barn, I was given a young sapling of an oak. 

About thirty minutes of footsteps did it take to cross the back pasture, through the maple woods, down the slope of Hunter's Hill, across Gould's Meadow, and finally to the banks of the slow and broad Chateguay. 

Like five sturdy brothers, five oaks stood in a line along the river - five oaks, five brothers, four uncles and my father.   The far end of the line would be my place in this world  ... my place for my young oak to grow old.

But before we worked, before we added one more tree to the Creation, we sat for the task of getting lost in time, in that realm of forever that hides between the tick and the tock of the passing of time.

We listened; an old man listened for dreams coming to life in a springtime spirit, a young boy listened for what-might-have-been in an autumn soul.

The End

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