Beginnings of lives, beginnings of journeys. Our story is about a journey, a journey through life. Our story starts as two separate stories, two separate lives, which intertwine but maintain their separation. The paths are rough and bumpy like the knots of a tree. The growth and the journey leads to the hope of growth and fulfillment, like the leaves and buds in the branches and knots of the trees.

We wander through the past and see a child. Born like all babies with the joy and the wonder of living. This little girl within a world of me, mine, take care of me, please. But something is wrong. There is a sadness and instinctive knowledge that something is not right in this world. To fill in our background we take you back a little further. Two people meet, they are young and not mature in the ways of the world. In the fresh blush of youth and the impetuousness of love they marry and create our child. As with many couples they were not ready to accept the responsibility of this little person. They had no skills or knowledge of how to love and create the world of me, which each child expects and deserves. Our father is a good-looking scoundrel, with red hair and blue eyes and the imp of a personality that goes along with the package. He is still in the "me" phase of his youth, wanting to enjoy all that life has to offer, often at the expense of his family. The Mom is nervous; her life has been one of uncertainty, bouncing from one foster home to another sometimes with ill use. Life is continuing in the patterns of the past. The women goes from delight at dressing up for parties to disillusionment at the realities of her existence. She grows angry and with the personality of one betrayed she is verbal, as it is a balm to her soul. Caught in between is the child, a child that doesn't understand. The verbal abuse heaped at her father becomes a curse against her. At the age of four she cannot understand the anger and emotion that runs high in her household. With the sounds in the dark of her mother screaming and blaming her for the father that is not home she begins her journey of guilt. The repeated song to lull the little girl to sleep is the melody of guilt, the drumming of anger; the words: my mother hates me, my mother hates me.

In another town in the same state we see a boy. Unlike our girl, he had no steady home; he traveled his life from his father to one stepfather after another. He feels uprooted and unprotected. He feels he should be the protector his mother needs, he should give the family the stability it so desperately needs. He cannot realize this is not his job; it is not within his abilities at this point of his life. He should not feel the guilt of his abusive situation. The story of this youth takes place in the home of his 3rd "father", the man that his mother clings to with the desperation of a woman feeling she deserves this punishment. Her husband is the typical stereotype of the biker, with long hair, a Harley and chains. He is rough living and rough on his family. He travels from job to job eking out a living with a seeming anger at his wife, maybe, for supporting the family. He beats his wife repeatedly and when that doesn't seem enough he punishes her boys. Not for any wrongdoing but to hurt her for her existence. The boys seek out the basement the hide away of their mother. They watch as their mother turns to alcohol. With the tendency of the alcoholic mom hides the beer in the basement where she can go to escape. The boys join her in her refuge. Our boy the boy of our story has taken on the sad guilt that he must have done something wrong and the seeds of "hiding away" are sown deep into his soul.