Both boys aged 5 and three quarters, living on opposite sides of the globe, both born in the latter half of 1948.
One little boy dressed in his finest by his mum, sent out with a hug and a kiss to experience the world. That day he would see the Queen and excitedly have much to tell his mum returning to her open arms. This little boy would have a story read by his dad before dropping fast asleep, feeling very special.
On the other side of the world, the other little boy, would be dressed in majesty. He would already know that he was Special but would not wake to a hug from his mum nor fall asleep after a story from his dad. In fact his mum and dad were also on the other side of the world, waving at that other little boy. The Special little boy would fall asleep alone, wondering if he was really special after all.
These two boys, travelling similar paths, would be surprised as to how their lives would mirror. They would both tail-end their secondary education with an empowering experience of outdoor training and confidence building. Traversing tertiary education, which highlighted their strengths and deficits, they would be drawn to the natural and built environment, and ultimately be led to the realization that an academic career was not to be their calling. They would both become public advocates experiencing derision and criticism, yet growing stronger through the process.
These two young men would marry and ultimately divorce. They would know love and heart break. Each would celebrate the birth of two sons who in turn would present to their fathers, five glorious grandchildren.
The two sons of each father would be nurtured with strong values and high self-esteem. They would confidently and individually create a place in the world reflecting their skills, passions and inheritance. Yet each of the sons would be impacted by loss and grief, for that which was and what might have been.
These sons would also carry a legacy from their fathers’ mistakes and missteps and discover the loneliness that is part of the human condition. Through a cauldron of emotions they would affirm their individual paths, leaving almost irreconcilable differences between the individual brothers. And their fathers would watch at times immobilized by an acknowledgement that a father’s words and responses offered no salve or comfort.
It is now 2022. These two young boys are now well into their 70’s. Grey-haired and with faces grooved deeply by the tread marks of time, both living a faith deepened by experience, having left behind the burden of creeds, dogmatism and ideology. They have become clearer as to what is important but at times struggle with their own vulnerabilities and idiosyncrasies. Self doubt does not evade them, yet they appear to move confidently ahead, acknowledging love, friendships and the companionship of fellow travelers. Rejoicing and grateful for the gifts they have received.