We dawdled despondently on the dusty porch, oppressed by heat and hopelessness. We weren’t lazy; there was just nothing to do and nowhere to turn.
But as we watched Daddy walking up the drive, we could tell something was different. He strode with a spring in his step we hadn’t seen in years.
We no longer had the energy to run out to meet him, but we were curious.
He was bursting with news. He spoke fervently of a green and shimmering land flowing with crystal waters, gushing with juicy fruit falling off drooping branches, and land where the rich, black earth radiated energy and life and promise.
He leaned, eyes glistening, arms waving. Transfixed, we watched him transform from a downtrodden, bare-footed farmer in holey overalls to a glowing saint in holy robes.
When Momma struggled off her stool to join us, we could tell the feeling was rising in her, too.
We swam in the cool, blue pools of Daddy’s words. Sweet juice streamed down our chins. Our bellies were gorged, our tongues danced from exotic flavors, lounging in tall grass so green it hurt our eyes — and no bill collectors in sight.
We piled everything we owned onto our old Ford that afternoon and headed west into the setting sun.