Arch got up and quickly dressed. He was excited and happy to have his father home after the years of war and uncertainty.
Questions never quite answered or understood would be answered.. for the boy had discovered in truth there can be no duplicity and his Father told the truth.
Today they would walk as they did before what Mama called war.. ‘the uncaring horror’.. going into the kitchen he saw oatmeal.. fresh orange juice and a sweet roll. His parents were outside talking.. he was drinking his oj when over the top of his glass he saw his mother turn her head and rush into the house.. avoiding the kitchen door to enter through the rear entrance of their bedroom.
He wolfed down his breakfast.. took his dishes to the sink to rinse and dry so he could.. he could.. what?.. he decided to leave that problem to the ‘grownups’ and went outside to join his Father.. he felt oddly ill at ease.. something he could not understand..
Toby turned and smiled at his son.. ‘Ready to take a hike soldier?’.. he asked.. Arch replied with an enthusiastic nod..
Their home was not farm country but certainly not urban.. ‘rural’ would be the word.. they walked in silence along a rabbit trail fronting the rim of a canyon that ran behind their home downhill to the river.. there was not another soul to be seen or heard as they passed the first mile of their hike.. remembering something he had heard from his mother and found agreement with from many of his classmates he asked.. ‘Dad, is it true that people make money on war?’.. then he said in a rush.. ‘I always have thought that one life was worth more than any amount of money’.. and there.. breathless.. the nine year old boy stopped and waited for an answer.. his Father had stopped walking and looked at his son.. there were tears in his eyes.. Toby turned his head.. wiped his eyes.. then turning to face him told his son..
‘Yes one life is more important my dear son.. there can be no duplicity in truth and one truth of war is most soldiers fight and pray they survive to get back to what they love and seek to live.. a peaceful life.. for there lies the only true magic.. an opportunity to share without fear.. to trust without suspicion.. one where the truth is fate met by a demonstration of a gift unique to each of us.. that one may learn from those with other paths.. other ways they have seen and may believe in..
To join the perfect song of nature’..
Arch listened and was quieted inside for the first time since he saw the capacity for uncaring evil in those he sought to love.. his species.. blessed life..