The Tree on the Hill
A winter of discontent, Robert walked mindlessly to sit on a stone bench, lovingly put in place by the Turner family several generations ago.
Robert's mind wandered until it focused beyond the mound of earth to a dormant tree that stood in stark contrast on the rolling gray fields of Kansas.
The lone tree Robert felt was a vivid metaphor for the bleak prairie life his grandfather John had eked out.
The son of a truck farmer, John settled in Kansas in hopes of successfully chasing the early Twentieth Century American dream too only discover the austere existence of tilling Kansas soil.
John's passage through adulthood was an endless cycle of drought, pestilence and plenty. Without complaint, he made an appropriate living for his wife and children. A struggle as dry and bleak as the land he sweated out his life's blood and soul.
However, one bright-unseen flower bloomed on the barren prairie. For John that flower was fishing. Fishing was an escape, a hobby, a chance for solitude, and a tasty meal.
Fishing with John was a closed affair that only a chosen few could join. Robert only met the criteria for short time during John's life.
The cold bleakness of Robert's loss slowly became a warm blessing. Robert said aloud, "At least we had our time together. Nothing can ever take that away."
Robert's pleasant memories were alive and full as the tree on the hill in spring.