One day I grew into it. Loving God more than my grandfather. But when I was four I didn’t know how. Only that I should.
In Sunday school we sang “He’s Got the Whole World In His Hands”. I pretended to understand the underlying spiritual metaphor, quoted all the necessary scripture and drew and coloured the requisite big ball of land held by God-Up-To-The-Elbows.
But in the back of my mind I knew, in all the ways a four year old can know, that there was only one pair of hands capable of holding up the empyreal body that was my heaven and earth. They were big, they were strong, they were callused. They were paid in script and little-money to do a job no one else would or could do.
I used to picture my grandfather, deep in the mines, in an Atlas like pose. With a celestial sphere that was more-than-world on his back. He strained and stood beneath the very ground I stood upon and as far as I was concerned he and the other miners laboured inside the earth not to feed the fire but to keep the world from falling into it…