At the end of the drive, there where we took one last look back toward the house from which we came, two sturdy posts stood as guards. They were four foot cubes of grey stone and mortar, and upon each stood a stone grey lion frozen in time. They had not the look of ferocity, but of dignity, a plea for respect by all those who chose to enter in.
As we made our choice to take the road right and onward I presumed, I saw the weathered bronze plaques attached to each. And in each was etched into its rich patina was that symbol, I had only but recently first came upon, but had already nearly forgotten, those interlocking W's. And my soul was overwhelmed with a sudden understanding this is who I am and from whence I came.
With a touch of his hand once more on my shoulder and with kind and gentle glimmer of a smile, I knew that he knew that I had begun to understand.
We had been all these miles and moments bringing to life the life that would be mine. The Old Man Oak was now within me, his lantern's glow, it now warmed my soul. My life 's journey now would be a discovery of all the legacy that time had poured into my beginning, my life would be the story of my making it all something more.
There were many quiet, thoughtful steps on the road we took, a road that led us onto an endless plain, wheat fields out of harvest, an sea of empty to cross. But cross we did. And as we did, the snow upon the ground began to thin as did the cold upon it.
When the field became more tufts of last harvest's straw than it did the winter's snow, we heard approaching in the distance the honking of wild geese coming home.
We stopped to listen, Granddad and I, and to search for them in the vast grey skies. "There!" I pointed to where the road behind us met the horizon.
"Yes, the wild geese are returning and hey shall lead us home, as they always have when the winter has gone on too long," my grandfather said in tones that were wrapped in wistful joy.
And we walked on. And we walked on. Above in endless parade, the wild geese showed us the way.
It was near the end of the wide plain, before we re-entered the wooded hills, that grandfather uttered a most strange thing, "We are as the wild geese. We travel here and we travel there, and every place we go is home, but we always return to where we first were born. Lad, you must always journey somewhere, but you must always remember to come home."