Just beyond the leaf . . !


GOODBYE! I used to shout. “Goodbye dad!” they shouted back. “Goodbye” I whispered and watched the retreating figures of my children. I waited at the window and watched them as they slowly walked down the colony drive to the gate, and waved to them as they turned and waved to me. It took a couple of minutes for them to reach the gate and I stood and watched and waved.

A little later a giant coconut leaf decided to grow downwards and every day I saw my view of the gate getting blocked. “Goodbye dad,” they used to shout and disappear behind the obstructing leaf. I waited and watched though, knowing by now, the time they would take to walk to the gate beyond.

“Sir,” shouted my secretary from the office room, “there’s a call for you.” “Tell them to wait,” I said as I stood at the window. “But there’s no one for you to wave to,” said my secretary, “they’re gone, why don’t you answer the phone?” “They’re not gone,” I said to her, “They’re just behind the leaf.” “But they won’t know if you leave the window!” she said. “They know I’m here,” I said to her.

Then one morning my elder one waved to me and disappeared behind the leaf. I stood and waited and then as I stared down the road, I saw a small movement at the side of the leaf far away. I saw she had stepped to the side of the road near the gate and leaning to her left was waving at me. I waved back. “She knew I was there behind the leaf,” I whispered to myself, “She knew I had not gone away.”

I waved back. Today, many years later, I wave again. “Who’re you waving to?” I ask myself. “To a God behind the leaf,” I hear myself say aloud. I think of times in my life when I wonder where God has gone, “Where are you?” I shout. “I can’t see you. Why have you left me alone?” And then in the rustle of the leaves I feel His presence.

“I am here Bob.” “Where?” “Next to you.” “Those days of trouble?” “Next to you.” “When I was sick?” “Next to you.” “Rejected by friends?” “Right next to you Bob.” I walk down the road of life, a smile on my face; I stop. I wave. I know He’s there, just behind the leaf, arms stretched out, waving back at me..!