My father takes me down to the arroyo when I am so small that I do not yet reach his waist. My feet fumble across flaking desert skin and he pulls me along gently by my hand and tells me to be careful of small cacti and the bones of dead jack rabbits. He does not let me straddle the rift where the earth divides into repelling mounds of sand. Instead, he slips his hands beneath my arms and swings me around in a half circle, his red face wrinkling into a smile.
That morning, my father had crept into my room with the sun and shaken me into consciousness. “Get your sneakers,” he had whispered. “We’re going on a treasure hunt.”
It is minutes later now and we are trudging down an overgrown trail, tactfully descending the deep slopes of New Mexican land. Everything smells strongly of mud and salt and soaked manure from the horse barn down the road. I almost trip over a weed, but my father steadies me and says, “Almost there, baby.”
The arroyo is different than I have ever seen it. It is scattered with long, silver puddles. In the pink glow of the rising sun, the sand looks shiny and slippery. Around us, green tufts of vegetation burst from the earth in unpredictable patterns and yellow wildflowers with thin stems knock softly against each other in the wind.
My father tells me to wait and he steps down into the wet sand. I watch as his sandals sink deep into the ground and leave long footsteps. He crouches suddenly, and digs into the earth with a discarded stick. Then he stands, approaches me, and places in my hand something slimy and smooth.
“A pottery shard,” he says, in explanation. “From the Native Americans, who lived right here a thousand years ago. The rain washes them up. If we’re lucky, we’ll find all the pieces of an entire pot.”
I look down at the strange triangular stone and wipe the sand from its surface. He lifts me up in his arms, carries me back toward the house.
My father gives me a book about Georgia O’Keeffe for my fifth birthday. We read it together and he bounces me on his knee and licks his fingertips before turning the pages. He points at a landscape that looks like a rumpled tablecloth and tells me, “This is why we’re here.” I steal a flashlight and flip through the book under my covers at night. I touch the same glossy picture and whisper, “This is why we’re here.”
When I am 6 years old, the Sunday school teacher asks me what my father does for a living. I tell her he is an artist like Georgia O’Keeffe. I do not know that I am lying. I do not know that he hasn’t sold a piece in months. I do not know that my mother sits at the kitchen table after I go to sleep and cries because the mortgage is past due and she can’t figure out a way to tell me that this year, Santa Claus just might not make it.
For Christmas, my father gives me a sparkling blue stone he found in the arroyo. I say thank you and pretend I mean it. Later, I stand on the edge of our brick patio and wind up my arm and throw the rock as far as it will go. It disappears inside the bristles of a pine tree.
I do not say goodbye to the arroyo before shutting the car door and stretching the seatbelt across my chest. I do not say goodbye because I think that I won’t miss it. We are leaving New Mexico. We are going to New York where my father will get a real job and we will become a real family. We drive alongside a cliff, the rock rough and jagged and sprinkled with a thousand tiny diamonds. I press my finger against the glass. This is why we’re here.
When I am 16 years old, my father takes me back to New Mexico and we go once more to the arroyo. The neglected trail is long gone now and we stumble in our tennis shoes over dried up cacti and colorless desert flowers. I am too old now to hold my father’s hand. He walks a few steps ahead of me and I do not see his face.
The arroyo is bone-dry, littered with dented soda cans, beaten strips of tire and mud-stained garbage bags. Many monsoon seasons have left the sides of the arroyo tall and smooth, except for the dried roots of long-dead plants, still lodged in the dirt, which reach out toward us like skeleton hands.
My father crouches over and his shirt draws taut across his back. He delicately parts the earth with his fingers and searches for something that he will never find again.
“No more pottery,” he says. He looks at me and squints his eyes against the sun. “It must have washed far away by now.”
Suddenly comes to me the vague image of my father in ripped jeans, pressing a pottery shard into my palm.
I wonder if he, too, has washed far away.
My father, my best teacher Essay example
650 Words3 Pages
At every point of my life, I have two types of education. Schools offer me the basic knowledge of how to make a living, and the other is my father who teaches me how to live.
I once questioned myself about the importance of education in school, five minutes later there were a list of things on my mind…..having new friends, learn how to do the Maths, learn Thai history, learn English and…….well, learn how to sing national anthem correctly. I totally agree that those things as mentioned are important factors in people’s lives. Graduating high school is a pathway to the higher education. But when it comes to the opposite way, how many people apply what they have learned in school into daily lives properly? When…show more content…
“Being healthy is the most important in people’s lives’ is his motto. What I didn’t realize before is sports also help people in making decisions and be more confident. ‘Never love something that cannot love you back’ is what my father used to say. He teaches me not to worship material possessions. Nevertheless, he spends his money on the equipment for his mountain bikes. Only one thing that makes him spends his money. Cycling is also his favorite sport. Each of his trips includes a bicycle, a helmet, a backpack, and a camera. One of his selected destinations is Chiang-Mai because he thinks it is challenging to find new routes for his every single trip to get there. Every time he tells me that he will be gone for a few weeks, a small part of me is worried about his trip and a bigger part is being so proud of him. When he is on a trip, he often sounds exhausted over the phone but he wouldn’t let his weakness came over him before he reaches the destination.
Even though we live apart, I reside in Bangkok with my mother while he has spent the past seven years alone in Nakornpathom. He teaches me loads of valuable things that even my mother cannot. Every words coming out of his mouth are such convincing, energetic and powerful. I automatically absorb his conceptions. When I was about to take national entrance exam, he said “Give your best shot, so you won’t regret whether you succeed or not’, while my high school expected many students