On Tuesday, I drove back from Boston with my son and his wife while they dozed peacefully in the car and found myself reflecting quietly about life and love, about God's closeness and tender presence in each of our lives. In those sweet moments after the rush hour traffic of Boston, I noticed the changing leaves on many of the maple trees lined along the highway ahead. The leaves were brilliant, beautiful, fiery orange against the blueness of the late afternoon sky, a stunning and powerful reminder of the Tree of Life image, a magnificent symbol in many faith observances, and often included in our own Christian tradition.
My little grandson got me right in the heart last weekend. It wasn't the first time, and I don't think it'll be the last. But he said something so sweet, I just melted.
His name is Galen, like the ancient Greek doctor and philosopher of the second century. I think my Galen might end up a healer or a philosopher. He's almost 4, and I'm already watching him closely. He also might end up as a demolition expert, actually.
Anyway, last weekend, he ran to me and gave me a big hug. He calls me "G," as in the first letter of Grandpa or Giroux. He gave me a big hug and said, "G, you're my hero!" I was charmed, of course. As the day went on, he kept climbing into my lap and saying, "G, you're my hero!" Finally, I asked him why. He said, "Because you do nice things!"