She hesitated at the end of the long road that would lead to her home. Suitcase placed by her side she allowed memories of innocence to capture her thoughts. It was autumn again. The trees along the drive had changed their color once again.. A slight breeze picked up and as she looked down the road, it appeared as if the trees were glad to see her. They were waving her in. They were joyful. They were always steadfast, immovable and strong. Colored leaves filled the road. Looking much like the floor of the forest. Yellow and orange leaves spread out before her. How long had it been? Was it really five years since she had stood here wondering what her future held? Her memories were a mixture of happy and sad times. As a child the road seem to go on and on, but then as she grew the road seemed to get shorter and shorter. Now at 23, with indecision at her side, it seemed to stretch an eternity. Would she be welcomed or turned away? If she were to allow her imagination to run a while, she could have imagined the colorful leaves waving her in. There was peace and tranquility in the wonder of nature. They were saying all is well, welcome home, we have missed you. People on the other hand were a different matter all together.
As she stood gazing down the tree-lined road, she caught sight of something, no someone coming down the road. Slowly at first but now running. In her revere, she hadn’t realized the tears that had slipped from her eyes. Her vision seemed blurred. There was no mistaking the well-built figure of the man running toward her. Even at 60 her father could be intimidating. He was not the sort of man one would want to tangle with if they knew anything about him. This person coming towards her could not be that same man either for she had never known him to “run” for anything. But here he was coming toward her with outstretched arms. Could she trust her eyes when her heart was still uncertain about this new season in her life? Before her mind could register the look, the posture, of the one she once feared, he was there panting with eyes filled with tears and a gentleness she had not seen before. “Poppa?” escaped from her lips silently. Before she knew it, she was in his embrace. The one she remembered as being protective, strong and hers. She w