In the shady yard behind our modest brick home, three blond boys follow their father down furrows of rich soil. They toddle like golden chicks, emulating his movement, wading in the depth of his teaching. The dimpled earth and clods of newly upturned soil make their walking unbalanced. Nearby, June apples — striped green and red — leap from their branches, drumming out the ritual beat of initiation, rites of passage. To blossoming pepper plants, climbing vines of beans, layered, lacy lettuce leaves, and peeking tops of corn ears they tend. All are home grown.
Along our rural route, a two-door coupe broadcasts the scratching turntable and heavy bass of an urban soundtrack. I wish the perfection of this place to the young driver’s conscience. My children, in the shadow of the father’s towering height, ignore, continue, mimic. To the creek they carry carts of fallen apples, attempting to lure deer away from our prize.
My eyes follow, reached out, extending an outstretched palm to capture their perfect youth as it slips through the hourglass. Their roots are planted here, their futures green and growing down paths they forge themselves. They are my legacy, footprints I leave behind. Until that time, I will marvel to see how they grow.