Father and son, together, yet alone
Upon a cool calm October day
The son, with a sun of his own
Entering the woods, each goes his way
Father and son on a perfect bushytail morning
On hunting success one father ponders
But from nowhere the wind rises without warning
And beside an oak tree his mind wanders
Father and son, son’s head on father’s lap
Beside an oak tree, the father remembers times past
While the son takes a restful nap
Beside an oak tree, one father understands at last
Beside an oak tree, tears in his eyes
A son thinks of a father nearby somewhere
With unspeakable joy and a little pain, he cries
Beside an oak tree, he realizes soon he’ll be there
Beside an oak tree, so many lasting memories made
Beside an oak tree, the wonder of the tales it could tell
Beside an oak tree, so many of life’s troubles are stayed
Beside an oak tree, one place where all is well.
I think a lot of hunters can relate to this. Bobby Preston Church penned today’s writeup, all but the last 4 lines on October 15, 2002, while squirrel hunting with his Daddy and his son, Seth, 6 days after Seth’s 9th birthday on the White River National Wildlife Refuge. He came up with the last 4 lines 4 months later, 6 days after his 33rd birthday while driving a truck.
“The idea started when a perfectly calm squirrel hunting morning became windy and my son went to sleep with his head in my lap beside a big oak tree, as I did years earlier with Daddy. Daddy went his way and Seth and I went ours. When the wind came up my thoughts went to greater concepts like changes in life, the importance of time in the woods between fathers and sons, and the important life lessons of those times. I ended up with one squirrel.”
— Thanks for sharing, Bobby.