‘No, I don’t’, said the grandson. And the grandfather went on: ‘I have made the fence all by myself, with my hands; felled an old tree and processed it. And it was for my beloved one to say: ‘What a fine man you are!’ I often used to take the path to go and pick up mushrooms and berries, just to make a second’s surprise to my beloved one, to please her. I wanted to show that I was ready to do anything for her sake. I was working very hard. My hands had corns on all over and bleeding of wounds, but I was the only one to see the wounds. And then, when I saw the water at last, I was happy as a baby. Merely because my beloved one did not have to go now by foot one kilometre away to fetch water. I did al these things for love of her. When a man is in love, it is left-handed to no profession. It can do things that others cannot; he has a purpose to pursue! Which one? Very simple: to be his beloved one’s hero. To see her smiling and pleased. And then she tells you the long-expected and warm words, which are dear to your heart: ‘You are such a handsome man! Such a clever man! A hero! I was ready to do so much for the sake of these words. On the one hand, I am a man and doing it is supposed to be taken for granted, but, on the other hand, I could have hired workers and they would have done the job for me. But I did it all by my own, with love and this is why the fence is looking brand-new till this very day. The path looking like a map of spots rich in mushrooms and berries is taking people till now to the most fruitful places. The well holds the purest water to the present time!’
The grandson asked: ‘Grandfather, you did not say a thing about the tree!’
‘The tree! The tree! Yes, the tree! It has its roots. It’s your grandmother and myself! It has its trunk: your father and mother. The branches and blossom are your would-be children. But your grandmother is no longer among us and it means the roots are half dried. I am an old man now and when I am no longer here, perhaps, the other half of the roots is going to dry up. The tree will be cut down to make a bench, a table or a cupboard. Let us say, the table we are sitting at now used to be once a very beautiful tree, too.
The grandson asked: ‘What is to be done to prevent the tree from drying?’
The grandfather smiled and answered: ‘It’s life and nothing is eternal. Everything has its beginning and the end, but love doesn’t disappear. This is why I want you to plant near the tree another little tree. The roots of the young tree will intertwine with the old tree’s roots and feed it to receive in exchange wisdom, vital experiences and values transmitted from generation to generation. This is it, the invisible connection of times.
And once, when you are an old man, you will also be sitting on a bench made of that tree planted by me and tell the story to your grandson or to your granddaughter. Everyone among us leaves behind him in life just his name and what we have made with our hands.’
Let us act so that after we are gone the people who mention our name say only good things. For us never to be ashamed for ourselves. For our grandchildren and great grandchildren be proud of us and say proudly: ‘Yes, this is my grandmother!’ or ‘Yes, this is my grandfather!’