October 05, 2011

Follow the Steeple

My book club is doing something different this month... writing! Actually, we are reading too... books about writing... and then writing stories from our own life.   Here is one from my childhood.

Follow the Steeple

"Just follow the steeple." said Aaron.  "It will lead us home."

I believed him.  He said it with complete confidence, and I had known him my entire life... all five long years at the time... so I had no reason to doubt him.  Besides, he was a boy, and since I had an older brother and was used to letting him tell me what to do, it seemed that Aaron was the obvious leader over me and my best friend, Liselle, who was also Aaron's cousin.  Liselle and I simply trusted Aaron in our 5-year-old way.

The three of us lived on the same street in Mesa, within a few houses of each other, and attended morning kindergarten at a nearby elementary school.  Our mothers were friends, so carpooling was natural.  On this particular day, someone was late picking us up after school (we didn't keep track, so I have no idea whose turn it was... we simply trusted them too).  We were tired of waiting what seemed like an eternity, though it was likely only a few minutes longer than our normal wait.

I don't remember who had the brilliant idea of walking home, but it seemed like a good plan to our grumbling tummies.  It wasn't far; certainly it was within walking distance.  And the weather was nice (always an important consideration in the Arizona desert), but it would require crossing a busy major street in mid-day traffic, though that didn't seem to concern any of us much.

What did concern us was that we didn't know the way home.  Since we were used to traveling to and from school in a car, and our young minds had not yet developed much sense of direction, we were rather stumped at first.  We seemed to know the general direction, but not how to navigate the streets around the buildings between the school and our homes.

At this point, Liselle and I gave up.  Waiting seemed preferable to getting lost.  But Aaron was undaunted.  "Just follow the steeple," he said.  That perked us up.  Liselle and I didn't even question this; we knew he was right.  The church, whose tall steeple towered above the houses and trees, stood at the end of our quiet suburban street, and we walked there to attend services every Sunday.  We knew exactly where it was!  We could see it from the school!  And because we trusted Aaron, we knew the steeple would lead us home.

And somehow it did.  I guess Aaron deserves some credit too, for he was able to keep two gasping 5-year-old girls pressing forward on what turned out to be a much longer walk than any of us anticipated.  Taking a route that I now know to be very much "the long way home," we arrived at the church, exhausted and hungry (it was now well past lunch time), and found our jilted chauffeur driving around frantically to find us.  Down came the car window and we heard an anxious voice exclaim, "You walked home?!  How did you know the way?"

We three triumphant hikers simply smiled and replied in unison, "We just followed the steeple."

1 comment:

  1. What a wonderful story. Very well written. You should submit it to "The Friend".


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