He had an old Volkswagen van he liked to take apart and put together again. He grew roses of exotic colours – his ambition was to grow a black one. He knew the names of every living thing in his garden. He taught me the names of the birds, the ways of the animals and the secrets of the seasons. He was a patient and loving man who educated me in the ways of the world. He showed me that all men were basically good and no man erred willingly, but were forced to by circumstance. He believed in the Lords love and that we were all his children. I never could believe in God, but I believed in that old man. He taught me an appreciation of nature and he taught me love.