A log fallen across the path

It was many years ago and I was somewhere in my thirties, vibrant, healthy and taking on the challenges of life. My sons were around ten and eleven and burning with that fire that young boys have. My dad was in his late fifties.

The four of us were just hanging out and looking for something to do.

"How about a walk to Herbert's Pond" my dad said.

All our ears perked up. Great idea; it excited the boys and it brought back childhood memories for me.

We were walking down a heavily wooded area when the boys spotted a large log sprawled across our path. They hooted with glea and as me and my dad continued to walk and talk they rushed for it and scampered energetically over it as if it were some kind of fun game of challenge.

As I approached the log I stepped over it with one long legged stride derived from the strength of manhood and kept on walking and talking. About ten steps later I had the feeling I wasn't being listened to and I looked to my left for my dad. - he wasn't there.

I looked back down the path to see him hunched over with his hands on the log. He was trying to step over it but was having trouble.

It was in this moment I realized he was mortal. -It's a dramatic moment in a man's life when his father comes down off that great height. Realization came to me, like the cracking snap of a tree fall, that he would some day die.

Ten years later I stood at his funeral and wondered at the mystery.