Wednesday, April 25, 2012
Brown Corduroy Pants
One of the memories that came up during today was one time when I was walking down the street with my father. I was at the age when I was old enough to walk but young enough to need to reach up to grab my father’s hand.
My dad was wearing brown corduroy pants. As I was walking down the street I made sure to keep my eyes on his pants so I wouldn’t loose track of my dad. It was a busy sidewalk and the different people and the changing scenery caught my attention. Every couple steps I’d remember that I needed to stay with my dad so I’d look around find those pants and relax knowing that I was safe.
Then something caught my eye or maybe I had a question for my dad so I reached up and grabbed my father’s hand to get his attention. Then a voice unfamiliar to me spoke and I looked up and saw that I had grabbed the hand of a stranger.
Where was my dad? Was I lost? Before I could panic, my dad only a couple steps ahead saw what happened, apologized to the other man and took my hand.
As we continued walking I was embarrassed but more than that I was confused how I could make a mistake like that. I was so sure. I just had to follow those brown pants and I would be fine, but that wasn’t enough.
I had figured out that all I needed to do was watch what was at my eye level to be safe and to stay with my dad. But in that moment I realized it wasn’t enough. I had to look up. So I learned to look at people’s faces to know who they were and where to go in my life. As I got through high school, I realized that this wasn’t enough and that I had to look deeper than the surface of people’s appearances to find security and strength in the people in my life.
Reaching up and grabbing the hand of that stranger still haunts me. That feeling of shock and disorientation has never left me. I am afraid that that maybe the “brown corduroys,” the goals and the beliefs that I’m using to guide my choices belong to a complete stranger and are an illusion.
I guess the only way to find out is to reach up and grab that hand.
If the hand you hold is what you think it is then your path is confirmed but if it isn’t well, dad was a only a couple steps away and so just as long as you keep walking and look up, you’ll be okay.