This morning, on the second to last day of my visit, I invited my father to go on a walk. He agreed:
For the first few metres you are walking slightly uphill on a paved road. It’s a little tiring for both of you. There is some tension, most likely because he seems to be thinking that there is something in particular you wish to discuss with him. You consider mentioning that you have no agenda other than enjoying the proximity of another walk together, but you keep quiet. As you leave the house further behind, into the fields he knows so well, onto the dirt roads, the tension dissolves and you share familiar thoughts on familiar topics, like other family members, politics and future plans. You notice how you walk with the same leg in front.
After some time (and miles), you start talking more about yourselves and inner stirrings, slowing the walking pace. There’s a question, raised by him, that you have to think about for longer. (You are now walking so slowly that you almost seem to come to a standstill.) It goes something like this:
‘Yes ok and what about your personal needs and longings, apart from the ability to attune to others?’
It moves you, the way he’s able to see – you.
Back at the house, you sit for a couple of minutes outside on a wooden bench in silence.
Resting legs, thoughts, hearts.