The small boy walks through the tiny mobile home and stands at the edge of a door to no where. It’s a four-foot drop to the ground. His bare toes curl around the edge of the threshold. Spring meanders through the grass. The breeze pushes his wispy hair into dancing. He leans forward, falling, through the air and the years and into the arms of his grandfather.
Some time in the future the small boy will stand behind a recliner, combing his grandfather’s hair on a cold Sunday afternoon in exchange for a quarter.
Some time after that his grandfather will take him to the farmer’s market in the morning. The boy will sit on the console between the two front seats. The van will smell of hot coffee.
Some time after that the boy will walk barefoot with his cousins as they cover the long distance from his grandfather’s graveside to the house where his grandmother will live alone.
These years are moments. They are the subtle leaning, the sharp pushing off into air saturated with the future.
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Sometimes courage comes down to us through the generations, embedded in DNA, a predisposed affinity for risk. At other times it springs up on us unawares, like the memory of a small boy diving into the arms of his grandfather.
But courage always comes in the face of fear.
What are you afraid of today?
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