I remember being five years old and walking through the forest by our house with my dad. It was filled with adventure and seemed to go on forever. It was always an adventure! I always felt safe because I knew my dad was there if I faced any real danger.
âWhy is grass green, dad?â I remember asking.
âBecause it has something called chlorophyll. It helps plants make their own food.â
âLike we make sandwiches?â
âHa-ha, similar in a way,â he rubbed my head.
I came across a dead bird and was very curious as to why he died and why the ants were all over him.
âWhat happened to him?â I asked.
âHis life ended.â
âBecause everyoneâs life has to end sometime.â My father was very calm talking about a completely new idea to me.
âUs too?â I asked in a fearful tone.
âEveryone, son, you and me, thatâs life. But it will not happen for a long time.â He smiled and hugged me.
I felt an ugly empty feeling in the pit of my stomach. My dad was my hero and I had just learned that my hero would one day leave me. How was a child supposed to react to that?
I remember asking him questions about everything: why birds flew instead of ran, who named the animals, why were trees so tall and why they lived longer than us, why fish couldnât talk, and why some animals died when others lived. I guess I was already thinking lifeâs most meaningful questions in a kidâs innocent ways.
My father took all these questions with noble patience explaining that each animal had a role in the world and they just knew what to do.