The first chapter in the story of a person’s life is usually thought of as starting at birth. But I say it is before that, with parents, grandparents and all the way back to the first set who sent those genes down the line to become said person. One of the pages in my first chapter is my father, Herbert Newel Morris.
Dad grew up on a small farm outside of Lewisville, Idaho that was originally settled by his grandparents, George and Zenobia Jane Harper where he saw the beauty of nature:
A pudgy headed squirrel
With a long and busy tail
Was trying to roll a snowball in July
When a fresh and playful breeze
With a tendency to tease
Blew apart the snowball in the sky.
Mountains near the valley loom
In ominous array;
Assassins plotting furtively
To kill the light of day
In clouds and shadows they submerge
Their ill distinguished form,
Together shroud the dying day
With mantle of the storm.
How does one describe a sunset?
Capture color with a word?
Paint a picture with a pencil?
Still, one can feel a sense of grandeur
Sparked by crimson shafts of light;
One can sense an awesome something
When the day blends into night.
When grown, with a journalism degree to his credit, he served a mission in Brazil for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints where he found beauty of a different kind:
Brazilian lips were made to be kissed,
But not by me;
Those rouge rosined cheeks are hard to resist,
Except by me;
Those swarthy complexions look warm to the eye,
As though no promiscuous kiss they’d deny,
But though it may be, I do not want to try,
For I left my love far behind me.
Brazilian breasts were formed to be pressed,
But not against me;
Their come-hither eyes say they must be caressed,
But never by me.
A curvaceous bodice might heavenly be,
But I have a goddess home waiting for me
And they never need to remind me.
There are waists in Brazil just right for an arm,
But never for mine;
These hot-blooded Latins are oozing with charm,
But none will be mine;
Their winks and their glances will get a blank stare
I can’t have romances, my heart isn’t there.
My love at home will still bind me.
The Samba was made for the hips in Brazil,
But it’s not for me;
The tango and rhumba are danced with a thrill,
By others, not me;
The clinch on the dance floor that thrills and elates,
Will not come to me ‘til I’m back in the States,
Then, that’s where you’ll find me!
After he got back to the States, he learned about women from five daughters:
I’ll never understand ‘em
Much less hope to command ‘em
Pick any one at random
She’s a mystery!
Though you’d like to reprimand ‘em
Or thoroughly back-hand ‘em
You soon learn God planned ‘em
For man’s mastery.
All through it all, he kept his faith:
To step to the front when the Lord should call me,
Step out of my way for a friend in need,
To step never back whate’er may befall me,
To walk with men of a nobler breed.
To pace a father’s ideal sublime;
Keep step with a mother’s trust and hope;
To sustain life’s journey one step at a time;
Keep a pace ahead of each task in my scope.
To walk the path of learning, understanding, the arts,
Live tuned to nature for beauty she imparts.
May such guiding aims take my, I pray
One step nearer to God, each day.
Thanks Dad, for your page in my story.