I am an old man sitting on a wooden bench by a river. My shoes sit softly in the mud and I am relaxed.
The sunlight gently warms my eyelids as the five o’clock sun glistens off of the water.
Slowly the trees rustle and I can sink into what I believe is very important.

I believe in two things that make a man; I believe that the small things matter and I believe that hope is sufficient.

A book rustles in the wind,
its pages get worn and the breeze walks through the paper asking its pages to turn and look somewhere else.
My old hand rests on the book.
My hand, so wrinkled and stationary keeps the pages facing the right direction.
The gentle whispering of the wind can only draw pages so far- and then, they come back.

It was the little things that kept me alive as I remember.
It was holding her hand. It was giving.
It was cutting the string on my violin so that she could see me and be proud.
It was seeing her in those Sunday shoes and hoping her feet were warm.
These little things; they kept me alive.
These little things formed and brought to my attention, like my hand keeping the pages on the book that I was firm, that I was planted hopeful.

I always thought of currency when I remembered redemption; to trade one man’s hard work for the work of another.
I thought of Gibraltar in 1899, when I saw that man die in the desert.

The trade.

I had always as a young man thought of redemption as a loss of something to gain another.
Redemption was like grass growing in a beautiful field.
Redemption was a gain for all things.
Redemption was not a trade, it was a birth.