Columbus, Ohio USA
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It Seemed Like a Holy Place
By Geraldene J. Pittenger
May/June 2013 Issue

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It was a lovely spring day in April of 1933, the year I was ten, when my father said, “Come with me, I want to show you something.”

“What is it?”

“I’ll show you.”

We walked across the pastures and through fields to the woods area at the far side of the farm. We walked through the trees to a clearing. Suddenly we stopped. I took hold of my father’s hand, as I exclaimed, “It is so beautiful!”

“That’s why I wanted you to see it.”

A cleared area, about 30 feet in diameter, was filled with wild violets. Thousands of bright lavender-blue violet blossoms held their heads above the bright green leaves. I held on to my father’s hand and leaned gently against him as I drank in the beauty of the violets and at the same time absorbed strength and goodness from my father. We talked softly. It seemed like a Holy Place. We stood quietly for a long time.

Every spring from then until the spring when I was eighteen and about to graduate from high school, my father and I went to look at the field of violets. It was like a ritual, and every year they seemed even more beautiful.

It has been many years since my father and I last stood together drinking in the beauty of the wild violets. I have had a good life, seen many beautiful things, and had countless happy experiences. There have been difficult moments too. Like lying in a hospital far from family and loved ones, not knowing if I would ever walk again. Like losing a talented son to a disease without a cure. At such times, I have been able to close my eyes and clearly see and feel the beauty of the violets and the strength of my father to carry me through the crises.

© 2013 Short North Gazette, Columbus, Ohio. All rights reserved.

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