Archive for June, 2008

Golf Balls

Posted in Where Angels Perch with tags , on June 9, 2008 by rodzink

Summer has come with a vengeance.  She arrived quickly and with fierce envy of a mild, busy winter.  Humid… sticky…  The trail has been temporarily interrupted with trips to the pool, the lake.. or any place that allows play after dark. 

Spent the day in the water and waited for sundown.  Baker and Belle both peer out the window… waiting.. 10pm.. the time has come.  We ventured out into the dark and wandered down the street towards the golf course.  During the day, the club is alive with people.. Groups stand on the knolls, the tee-boxes, the fairways.  Lush grass… rolling hills…  It’s a beautiful place.  But after dark, she is silent.. dark.. empty. 

Last summer, the kids wanted to sell lemonade on the corner…  Entrepreneurs..  We agreed on another option…  Golf balls.  Walking the course at night, we began to pick up stray balls.. one.. two… often, we picked up ten or so..  The numbers grew… the kids learned where to look… and found a market…. no competition..  I found another opportunity.. a few more minutes before bed..  without a tv.. or video games.  Another chance to be with them.. watch them.. They often disappear into the dark.  I hear their voices as they call out to each other… Then, I wait on it…. I know it’s coming and the sound is as comforting to me as anything I know…. “Daddy…… Daddy.”  My high school English teacher had always told me that the sweetest word in the English language was “puppy.”  Ms. Collins, wherever you are.. I disagree.  It’s a name that billions carry, but it’s as distinct as the eyes of your children… Suddenly, one of them will appear over a hill, or out of a sand pit… plastic bag bulging with golf balls…  “How many do you think is in there, Dad?” I simply wonder how long I can keep them… how long will they run across a field to get to me…  call out my name….. let me drop to my knees to look into their faces… pull them close to me.  I realize, though, it’s not their choices.. It’s mine. I make that decision… daily…. to let them know that I’ll stop whatever I’m doing… wherever I am…. I know that their calling out to me will slowly end, yet I’ll not wait. 

 

I am always reminded of Easter Sundays when they were younger… running ahead of the each other to find the next egg.  The golf balls require no hiding.. no finding them with the weedeater in coming days….  I simply rely on the slice…  the hook… the bushes.   Our lives are changing… they’re growing up.  We’ve begun the transition from my walking ahead… or carrying the eggs….  to my following at a distance… The grip loosens a little at a time as they venture further…. as they disappear over the hill.  For now, I’m learning to sit in silence and listen for their voices….  Daddy… It’s late. They are worn out from the week.  In their beds.. the only sound is the hum of the fan.