My nineteen-year-old son left home on a cross-country road trip to live his life. His favorite book is “Into the Wild” by Jon Krakauer. He and I went to see the Sean Penn movie version of the book just before he left on his journey to Colorado. Before he left he put my wife’s favorite picture of him at age 9 or so in a frame on her bedstand. He left me the handwritten version of the following poem on mine.
Place is Ancient
by Clinton Chambers (age 15)
It is silent. My thoughts are the only noise. This is somewhere I long to go every year. It is a place of seclusion. This place is ancient, you can tell by the erosion on the rocks and the pictures in the snow. I spend all summer preparing for the trials and journeys of the mountains. I push my soul to run, and run forever, preparing for the loss of breath when I see the mountains. I have memories of a different life. My thoughts would keep me company. My father tells me he should have been born here, this is where he lives and dies. This is where I live and die, in Deadman.
What do you do when your son tries to understand your soul? What do you do when he wants to walk the same path on which you have traveled? How do you feel when he values the same values and aches the same aches?
I will tell you how you feel:
VERY WELL INDEED.