They watched him as he came walking over the hill in the horizon.
All the kids were excited to see him.
At first he was just a small speck but ever so slowly he got larger and larger. The children were so excited that it seemed like it would take forever for him to get here.
They had been waiting forever.
The little boys tried to act cool by pretending not to notice and acting like they were busy with other things. The girls all giggled and whispered in each others ears. They were so excited to have someone come to visit.
Small vortexes of dust whipped around him as he walked. He smiled at them as they danced down the dusty road. His legs were tired but he didn’t mind it at all. It was his grandfather who encouraged him to walk… It was a long road to travel but this was the best way to do it.
He just walked on singing songs in his head.
“What was that song Grampa? the one where you ask for strength to’Take Me Home’?”
His Grandfather sat down from his day and sang it to him. He was always kind to his Grandson because he was such a gentle boy.
One day Grandson I am going to ask you to do a big thing for the people. Most won’t even know they are needing you but you will become important to them.
The children saw him getting closer and were so excited that they forgot they were at school and ran down the road to meet up with him. They didn’t care if the teachers or principal would be mad at them. They were tired of listening to them. They didn’t know anything about Indians anyways. They all surrounded him and all wanted to hold his hands as he walked.
Did you see my mom and dad?
Are they coming to get us now?
The teachers have been mean to us and we want to go home now. Can you take us?
He just looked at them all and smiled and kept walking. His walking stick clacking at a steady rhythm on the gravel.
The children noticed how gentle his eyes were and felt safe being with him.
I did a drawing for my mom and dad to show them. I am going to go to the school and get it so you can see it. Off a bunch of them ran.
Did you eat yet? they asked. We can go and get some carrots we planted in the garden for you. You must be pretty hungry.
I miss the campfire and mom’s bread another one chirped in. It will be good to get home and eat bread till I fall asleep on my granny’s lap and she can comb my hair and I can just watch the fire.
He was next to the school now and looked at the old building. It was so quiet but the laughter of the children made him happy to finally get there. The groundskeeper must be really lazy because the front of the building steps were in rough shape. He walked inside and only heard the echo of his feet as he walked down the hall. No one was around to check on him to see who he was so he just ambled around and took in the building details before he headed outside again.
The children stopped and got quiet when he got close to the entrance. After all, it happened so many times before. Visitors come and leave and they get left behind only to cry and pretend that it didn’t matter.
He stopped. Turned around and looked at all the children.
“Well?” he asked.”Are you coming with me or not?”
Stunned silence and then an eruption of cheers.
“We are going home! We are going home!”
The children had tears in their eyes. They couldn’t believe it. They finally get to go home.
They don’t have to come back here anymore. They will be free.
Free to see their brothers and sisters again. Some of them must be pretty old by now many of the children thought.
They sang and skipped around him the whole time and the school disappeared into the horizon. Never to be seen again.
“Thats my house. I can see it!!!!…”
Off some of the children ran not caring to look back. They were home.
He watched as the swirling dust took off and cried to himself a little to see the children run off. They were tears of happiness and contentment.
The further he walked the more children left him. One girl ran back to him and gave him a big hug one more time before she left.
“Thank you, Thank you, Thank you. I will say a prayer for you tonight when my dad gets home. You are so kind to me.”
He just walked on happy to just take his time. One little boy was tired from all the walking so he carried him on his shoulders.
“Don’t worry. I will get you home too,” he told him.
The boy just smiled and watched the beauty of the land from his high vantage point. One day he will be as tall as this man and will see forever. he thought to himself.
There were things that were familiar. He was home and off he floated to the place he longed for for so many years. Leaving the kind man to continue his walk.
His feet were really sore now from the walking and he had to rest for a few days.
People came from all parts of the land and gave him comfort. A warm bed to sleep on, meals and friendship.
His Grandfather came to him in a dream. I am proud that you are carrying on Grandson. I will watch over you the whole time you are walking. Remind people that we have to carry on with forgiveness in our hearts. It will be hard if we don’t find that.
He would wake up to a new sun rising. Put on his new runners and start off once again.
Many people thanked him for what he was doing and cried at the thought. What else can we give to him? They had given him something more than they knew. They gave him Love. It was the beginning of their healing.
(May 25, 2014)