My father continued, “We were observing the frescoes on the walls in that chapel. Your mother went ahead and I stood before the frock behind the glass as if I was chained and could not move from the spot! All of a sudden, I don’t know what came over me, I felt blessed by God, and started to pray and thank God! I almost started to cry, imagine? A piece of rough material and an ordinary rope provoked this. Yes, sometimes in life something happens which is hard to explain… Coming back from Italy to New York I read about the life of St. Francis. It turns out he was a remarkable person, giving the last he had to the people. By the way, he preached not just to people but animals, birds, and even fish.”


“If there was a river or lake on his way he went there and from the shore taught the fish to love God. They swam up to him with their mugs protruding from the water. At the same time listeners such as frogs, snails, and turtles gathered on the bottom. Birds flew in from everywhere, and animals joined. Everyone listened to St. Francis. They say that even today he helps people and all living creatures, that he still roams the Earth.”

My father continued saying something, but my lids grew heavy and I drifted off to sleep.



Trrrr! The line spooled through the spinning reel quickly unwinds; the dark sinker with two dangling hooks flies over the water. I firmly hold the fishing rod and watch as the sinker falls into the water with a splash and sprays scatter from the place where it dropped.

 “Good job!” My father praises me. “You learned how to throw it in well.”

I attempt to secure the rod between two rocks but it falls. Picking it up, I accidentally stepped into the water, soaking my socks and sneakers. If my mother was with us now, she would have forced me to put on dry socks, but today my mother didn’t come with us and my father didn’t even notice that I got my feet wet.