The road ended at the fence of the front garden of the old house my father had found to spend our summer holidays. It was the best he could afford with his university teacher’s salary for the seven of us. Behind the building, they were imposing mountains, track paths, and scattered farmhouses… And cows, everywhere, grazing, strolling, sleeping; they were the queens of the meadows that lay between the house and the high peaks of the Pyrenees.
We were in a place called Urus.
There was only one phone nearby in an old house where the telephonist lived, an older woman who was also, according to the farmers, a witch who knew how to make spells and scare away evil spirits.
Every morning, Mom, Dad, and we, five kids, used to walk to the village of Alp, three miles away. We went to the church and to buy bread and the newspaper. We didn’t need milk from the store. I was in charge of going with my tin jug to the neighbour’s farm to collect freshly milked milk, and my mom used to make delicious toasts with cream.
-Daddy What is a philosopher? asked my brother Rick, eight years old, when we started our way towards the village the first day.
My dad answered his questions all the way. Finally, when we were about to arrive, Rick said, convinced: “I will be a philosopher.”
The next day, after two or three steps, Rick asked:
-Daddy: What is a biologist?
Another explanation and another determined affirmation: “I’ll be a biologist.”
Each day he asked about a different profession, and he concluded he would embrace it.
When Rick had to choose his master’s grade, he found himself in front of many choices.
But daddy was not there anymore to answer his questions.
He remembered the meadows of Urus. So many doors with many possibilities behind were in front of him! It was the hour to decide.
He recalled his innocent conversations with dad. And it came to his mind his final answer back then: “you have to choose the door that will make you happy.”
-I’ll be happy surrounded with beauty and with my family, so I’ll choose arts, he decided.
Now is a successful and solicited expert in modern art, and he enjoys every moment of his life.