The Seed for my Bridge
Joshua Huang, Division 2, 10th grade #ws18e-s2d2

There is a great rift between the earth of my family. It is a fissure with me on one side and my father on the other. Day by day, the earth diverges more, making my father further from me, until I cannot even cross it anymore. I run to the rift and cautiously peer over its edge. I see that the rift did not occur from an earthshaking altercation; it formed because I do not spend much time with him.

The alarm rings for a weekday, and immediately I throw my things into my backpack, and hustle off to school, while my father grabs his work bag and hustles off to work. After school, I hustle to finish my homework, while my father silences in a corner to watch television. On Saturdays, my father grabs his golf bag and hustles to the golf course; on Sundays, I hustle off to Chinese school. Every week, both of us seem to always be hustling, in which we do not have time for each other. Even when I am not hustling, I would rather stay in the self-serving world of the computer. Then, all of a sudden, the school year ends, and I pack my baggage in a frenzy and hustle back to Taiwan with my mother and sister to visit my relatives. Every summer, I miss celebrating my father’s birthday because I am in Taiwan. My father has become more as a guest who resides in the same house as I, and so the distance between us is a wide valley.

My father too can see the wide fissure between him and me. He has chosen, though, to comfortably build his nest and settle on one side. He knows he must learn to let go someday, and give me some room to stretch out my wings and fly to the ends of the world as he did before. When he is not with me, I must be able to gather nuts and berries with my agile beak and take it back to my own nest of twigs. Knowing that the passage of time is inevitable, he lets me fly with the owl of wisdom, to learn the art of flight, of food-gathering, and nest making - the basic ways of life. He does not cry out as I fly further and further away.

It is a shame, though, that I use this newfound freedom only to try to be independent and fly out of the hearing range of the chirps of my father, to escape from the responsibilities which, like time, will eventually catch to my youthful wings. As I tire from flying and finally embrace these responsibilities, I look back and can see my father no more. At this moment, I recall an early memory of me getting lost in Tainan City. I and my father were on the tour bus touring attractions there. Our bus pulled up at a seafood restaurant for lunch. After the meal, a pond came into my curious sight, and I eagerly went to see it with another tourist I knew who was in my group. When I turned around again, though, the tourist was gone, and the tour group was not in sight. My back started to sweat as I ran back to the tour bus parking area. I realized I could not tell which one was ours. I felt very alone and scared. When some kindly people tried to help me, I did not know how to reply, and I ran away from them. Finally, I saw my father, and I ran toward him with as much force as I could muster and cried into his clothes.

A person needs to have that someone to share their feelings; their thoughts, their dreams, and their story. Every time I visit the senior care facility with my Chinese school to accompany them, I see that the elderly residents do not just need food and care. They long to have someone listen to their songs of joy, and bear to hear their cries of sorrow. But who will have the strength or the patience to listen to this music? Only someone who loves you. I do not want the people I love to sing that kind of sad song, so I tell myself not to be a flyaway bird to my father.

If I could go back to the past, I would try to reclaim all of the precious time I missed with my father. I would spend more time with him, and celebrate his birthday every summer. I desire to go back to a simpler time when I could still walk over to the nest of my father; something once taken for granted I now would treasure as the imperial jewels. But alas. The bygone days are by and gone; no one can unravel those immutably bounded layers of time. No, I must look forward. I must build a bridge to join this fracture together. Although I cannot change the past, I can change my present so my future self with not long once again to return, suffering from great regret. How shall I accomplish this great feat?

I will gather the seed of reunion and plant it, which I shall nourish with precious moments, and water it with appreciation. Once this grows to reach over to the other side, I shall suspend this bridge with tightly bounded chains, chains which consist of the strong iron found in the crimson red of the family blood. I shall melt the flaws and imperfections that we have, and mix them together to make an unbreakable chain!

After I finish this essay, I shall be going to water this bridge, still presently a sapling. I will go with my father to watch a drum corps show together, and I shall cherish every passing moment of it, for once time passes, one cannot return.
Shared publicly