Throughout my life I have loved to read.
The first book that really took my breath away,
was “The lion, the witch and the wardrobe”.
I can remember going into my brothers room when I had finished it,
and saying “I can’t believe that adventure happened in just a minute in time!”.
I was hooked.
However when I was fifteen,
I went away from home for a month.
I traveled to a very wealthy holiday resort,
and minded four children for a family I knew.
Whilst I was there, I received a letter.
It was from my Dad,
with the instructions,
“Not to be opened until the night before you come home”.
I was intrigued, and very impatient.
There were days when I felt so far away,
and greatly missed the noise and arguments of my own family.
I would look at that envelope,
and wish I could open it.
It might allow me to travel home for a moment,
and ease some of my loneliness.
But I resisted.
Finally the last night came.
I could barely contain myself,
waiting for everyone to be tucked in for the night.
I sat on my bed and shaking,
I took out my well worn envelope,
and carefully opened it.
Inside it, was one page,
on which a poem was written.
Just as “The lion the witch and the wardrobe”,
had surprised me all those years before,
and sown the seed for my love of books.
This poem awoke in me,
a hunger for poetry I did not know I had.
It was the first time I understood,
a poem says so much more than words can say.
Directions for your Homecoming.
Come quietly, softly up the path,
The wind will know you as you pass.
The little flowers that star the grass,
will lift their sleepy heads again.
The shy, the furred, the feathered things,
these will not scurry from your feet,
there’ll be no rush of startled wings,
for gentle are you, ever sweet.
Then quietly, softly ah, once more,
your foot upon the path.
A part of me asleep will wake,
your hand upon the door.
I cannot credit the author as my dad is no longer around,
and the internet does not recognize it.
As I read this poem today,
I do so as a parent,
waiting for my child to return from college.
However sometimes I like to read it,
just as I first did,
as a poem from my dad to me!