Ripple

By Magin LaSov Gregg

October 5, 2015

Ripple

On a rusted railroad bridge overlooking Ohio’s Rocky River, I stand with my father beneath an ocean blue sky and listen to the water’s murmur. My father removes his glasses and points to a large rock beside the lower bank.

"That’s Big Rock," he says.

I know Big Rock from a story he has told me, a strand of his story now interwoven with mine. I know my father, as a boy, stood on Big Rock, while neighborhood boys stood across from him, on a narrow cliff ledge, and hurled rocks at him.

I know his glasses shattered in that fight and the price he paid at home for breaking them: I know how his father hurt him and how this violence swam into my life. I know I, too, had a father who wielded pain, and how we both survived to be here, to see Big Rock together.

Silver-haired and limping, he leads me from the bridge, down a hill, and across an overgrown trail redolent with honeysuckle, until we reach the dusty face of Big Rock. I press my hands onto the sun-warmed stone. As I touch Big Rock, I want to have an insight about forgiveness and healing, and the limits to both. But all I can do is lift my hands from the rock to touch my father’s back, while ripples overtake the water and surround us in their strange and brilliant light.

 

Photo "Portrait of a Rock" provided by zeveroni, via Flickr.com creative commons license.

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