Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Leif in Lichtenau, Germany, age 3 and a half

How can one predict what a child will become, or what will happen to him? Of course, we can't. Leif was always tall, strong, and could have easily intimidated other children or been a bully, but he never did, and he never was. He took all of the things he saw in movies, cartoons and fairy tales and wanted to mold himself into a hero. He made himself into the strong man with the weapons, the warrior.

But that was only one side of Leif. He also was a dreamer, a soul who searched for love, a man who felt vulnerable and unable to show it. He had an introspective, sensitive side and he used it to observe the world and analyze it.

As a child, he had strong moods that he learned to temper and hide when he was very young, but he still felt things deeply and strongly. He knew joys and frustration, hurts and pain.

He loved to climb things, test himself. He always had that infectious smile.

This photo was taken at a small castle in the southern German town of Lichtenau, not far from where we lived in the town of Sachsen bei Ansbach. He was three-and-a-half years old when this photo was taken in July 1978, and had climbed into this "window" to show off. There was a long, steep drop on the other side, but he was unconcerned as usual.

We did a lot of traveling all the years of his childhood, and saw many castles in Germany and other European countries. There's no way of knowing whether those experiences had any influence on his later interest in the Society for Creative Anachronism.

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