Where Would You Look?

Recently I have been reminiscing about my grandfather and all of the lessons he taught me. The funny thing is, I don’t even think he was aware that he was doing it. It wasn’t until much later in life that I became aware of what was being taught. For instance, one warm day in Santa Cruz, California, I was helping him out in the fields near his property. With the neighbor’s permission, his plan was to expand the size of his field and add more crops. Back then a handshake and a gentlemen’s agreement is all that was needed to use each other’s land. There I was, his proud assistant and like all assistants (especially grandchildren), I was sent to ‘go-fer’ this or that. This particular day he wanted me to go to the tool shed and bring back a certain tool. He needed a scythe, which was a long-handled implement with a curved blade used for cutting tall grass or grain. I’m standing in the tool shed looking everywhere for that scythe. As does a typical child I yelled out “I can’t find it.” He yells back in Italian “и lа dentro,” translated as “It’s in there.” I hollered out again, “I don’t see it.” At this point I think he became irritated with his little assistant. He came into the shed and exclaimed “Antony!” in his best broken English and waving his arms wildly, “You look uppa here, it’s a notta uppa in de air. Aye yi yi, you no looka in the right place.” He continued to rant “You notta find anyting on lessa you looka where it is down here, notta up dare.” Yes, back when I was young Italian was our main language, even for me. Whether he spoke good English or not I think I got the picture that day. With his help I finally found the tool. We both headed back out into the field where he showed me how to use it working with long smooth strokes close to the ground. I worked until sundown. What an accomplishment for a young boy. As I continue to reminisce I wonder if as adults, sometimes we look in the wrong place for our own tools; such as talent, self-esteem and even love. Are we generally looking around high and low to see where our tools are, only to find that they’re not there? Maybe we should be looking within ourselves for the tools to bring our attributes out, instead of way up on the top shelf of the tool shed. God and the Universe gave each and every one of us something very unique and special like no one else has. Our perception of who we are lies within. If we keep looking for it in other places, we won’t find it. © Tony Masiello 2006