Saturday, June 20, 2009

Safe At Last--A Memory of My Daddy

© 2007 by Ann Knowles

Our family did not own a car, and a visit to my Grandma's house
meant traveling five miles on foot, part of it down the highway, and
part of it through the swamp and across the stream on the foot-log.
Daddy insisted that I walk as far as I could, and then he would pick
me up and carry me for awhile.

As we made our way to Grandma’s house, I trudged along a
step behind my mother like always, sometimes stepping on her
heels. I whined a lot, hoping Daddy would hoist me up on his
shoulders. Ever since we left home, I had been thinking about
crossing the stream on the foot-log. The very thought of it
terrified me!

A foot-log was just that, a board, 10” to 12” wide, placed across
a stream. Good balance was required to step one foot ahead of the
other and not fall off the narrow board. For my daddy, it was so
easy, but for me, it was a monumental task.

The narrow boards that spanned the stream made it difficult,
if not impossible, for a four-year-old to keep her balance. Worse
than the thought of slipping into the reddish brown water, was
my fear of falling on the knobby cypress knees that reach upward
like the arms of monsters hiding beneath the remains of rotten logs
and gently flowing water.

Nothing calmed my fears until Daddy reached down and gently
lifted me up on his shoulders. I clasped my arms around his neck,
took a deep breath and leaned forward to rest my cheek against
his head. Safe at last! No harm could possibly come to me now!

Daddy continued to carry me on his shoulders, high above the
ground, away from all the things that might frighten me or cause
me harm: the murky water, snakes, frogs and other unseen things
that might lurk in the swamp.

Twenty minutes later, we were at Grandma’s house and my
hand was in the cookie jar. A rabbit whose ears formed the top of
the jar made it easy for a small child to lift the lid and get to the
cookies. All thoughts of the swamp were far away. No need to fear
when Daddy was with me. He always kept me safe!
Daddy has been gone for many years, but I am not without
a Father. As I thought back to this incident, I realized how
my heavenly Father holds my hand and keeps me safe
through all kinds of dangers and dark places. I will have
no fear for He is with me.

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