The wind bristled the plants beyond the path. My heartbeat remained steadfast. Legends have it, all those who walked in this forest left unscathed. The woods and the creatures within them were indeed safe. Morning was ahead. Sunlight would filter down the canopy forest to sit gently upon the foliage. There is a beautiful word for this in our language. Growing up in these parts, I loved the moments where sunlight fell through the treetops. It was a sight I adored. Light scattered gracefully on the forest floor. My inner voice calmed me. Soon, I would reach the sea.
"Hi! You are back!" I shouted to Dad and Uncle on the deck below. Beyond them, the sun rise put on a vibrant show. Finally after long weeks on a rocky sea, Dad arrived home, safe and relieved. At every fishing trip's end, Mom and I walked the path to embrace his return to land. Mom always said, "Let us be together as much as we can." Today was the first time I was able and allowed to go alone. After Dad and Uncle cleared their boat and sold their catch, we would walk home.
After all loose ends were tied, it was time to return home and we departed from the sea. We walked for an hour until we reached our favorite spot to eat and rest our feet. I looked for my father's reaction after we took our first bite. Without missing a beat, we shared a quiet, knowing smile. "I made it myself." I said proudly. "Delicious." I was so happy when my dad was home. When he was away, I missed him. Having him home felt peaceful and complete. It won't be long before we are here again after Dad's next work journey. Maybe my brother will be ready to make the trip; his walking is becoming more sturdy. Walking home with Dad always passed by quickly. Maybe my dad's longer legs sped up the pace. Or maybe it was his company that made time a joyous state. In either case, it felt good to have him home.