Wednesday, October 10, 2012

31 Days {Rooted in Love - ten}

To start at the beginning ...

image from deviantart

They stretched out on their backs atop the boulder with their shoulders touching and stared up at the clouds overhead.

“Doesn’t that one look like an old mule?  Maybe that’s Ol’ Man Miller’s mule, the one that likes to bite.”

“Look at that one.  A fat little chickadee.  Chicka-dee-dee-dee, chicka-dee-dee-dee.”  In the top of a spruce tree to their right they heard an echo, “chicka-dee-dee-dee, chicka-dee-dee-dee” from a feathered friend.  A fresh wave of giggles from the top of the boulder.

“Do you see that one over there?”  Gretel pointed, “That one looks like Helga.  It has her pointed nose.”

“And her wild hair!”

Suddenly they heard someone below them, a quiet cough.  They both sat up straight, knocking their heads together, and peered over the edge of the boulder.  There stood their father, scolding them with his eyes.

“Now children, that isn’t a very nice thing to say.”  They rubbed their heads and mumbled their apologies.  “But I’m afraid I’d have to agree about the nose.”  He smiled then and the children laughed.  He raised his hands up to Hansel and Gretel and they each jumped from the top of the huge rock into his arms.

“Come now.  We have a few chores to complete before supper.”

The three of them walked off toward the path that led to the wood shed, one on each side of their father, holding his callused and strong hands in theirs.

Gretel saw the path they took to the house through her teary eyes.  She let the tears fall this time, not fighting the sorrow that had taken root deep in her heart.  She let herself remember and feel.

She remembered the touch of her father's roughened but gentle hands.  The calluses from swinging the heavy ax.  His strong arms from hauling wood.  His long fingers gripping the knife as he carved fluid details along the grain of the wood.   She smiled, recalling his strength and gentleness.  

Her memories whisked her back, remembering how he would swing her around in a circle, and the joy she felt as her feet flew out from under her.  How he would brush her hair back from her face as he sat perched on the side of her cot, singing her a lullaby by candlelight.  How he had showed her how to whittle a whistle out of a slender aspen branch, curls of wood wrapping around the knife he helped her to hold.  Gretel grimaced.  Those same hands had hung limply by his side as he turned and walked away from her all those years ago.  A fresh wave of tears washed over her.


She turned and looked down at Hansel standing at the base of the rock.  He, too, held his hands out to her.

“Come on down.  Let’s go home.” 

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