A son learns many things from his father. Among the things he learns is courage. And this courage is not only that which conquers fear. It is also the courage to be true to oneself and to one’s own inner compass that is the guide as to what is right and what is wrong.
Today, as we honor all fathers for Father’s Day, we say a special prayer for Bob Bergdahl. We are inspired by the courage he has shown in his fight to bring Bowe home. We know, and can see, that his son has learned to be courageous by this same inspiration.
In remembrance of this day, we share with you a little poem about a son learning to be brave.
The boy watched the ghosts
on the far side of the valley.
There under the black hill. He
stood by the farm gate and
watched. He was his father’s
son, a brave boy. But his
courage failed. He thought
about his father who he
revered. What would he do?
Should he tell his father?
There are ghosts. I’ve seen
them. They flicker and dance
about down there – and I am
so scared. His father had told
him: I believe what I can see
and touch, in what others proved
by bravery, by hard work.
Hard work. And so this was
hard; to go down there in
the dark, down to the river, under
the black hill. The boy set off.
A last look at the house where
his mother read him stories,
where his father ruled the roost
with his clear sight. It rode like
a ship in the night. He headed
for those shifting lights, chill in
the dark, stumbling over clods,
pants soaked by the drag of
lucerne. I can see him still.
When he got to the pigs, heard
them rooting, snuffling – content
in their sty – he almost turned.
He pushed on though, on trembling
legs, heart pounding fast enough
to die. And so he came to where
the ghosts danced – in triumph
ruled. They triumphed round him,
this clear-eyed son. He looked
around. A mile away cars swung
out at the junction, their sweeping
lights touching river mist. Joy.
He could go home. He could go
home, holding his dad’s hand.
by John Garth Raubenheimer