Jun 202010

As I walked the loop on Wrightsville Beach early this morning I couldn’t  help but notice how ones mind moves so much faster than their feet. Those who meditate call it “monkey mind” as thoughts move in and pass, move in and pass. Trying to reach that state of calm where your mind is at rest is so difficult to attain. For some it never comes, for others it takes a period of training to develop the concentration needed to reach that moment of peace. I try, but I’m not there, yet. So this morning, I walked and inwardly recited a little mantra I learned that calms me and makes me smile. Then all those “monkey mind” thoughts creeped into my head as I broke down what I had done this past week, what I had to do this coming week and months and what I wanted to do. Its amazing what we can process. After sorting through all the mostly unnecessary stuff I finally had a thought that was important. I thought of my Dad. I realized that today is Fathers Day, and that a moment of reflection about the person who helped bring me into this world, was far more important than all the other stuff going through my head. At least it warranted a little time of its own.

Its been over a decade since my Dad passed along and yet there are still times that I miss those afternoon phone calls. When we talked we really didn’t say much, but he was satisfied with the conversation as long as I conveyed that I was doing okay. That was always important for him, that his kids were doing okay. He was kind of a worrier and mostly he worried about his children. And well, we turned out fine. I guess all that worrying paid off. As I look back on my life with my Dad I try and pick out the most memorable things that we did together or his influence on what I now enjoy in life. To tell the truth, its a difficult thing to do. Fathers just do their best to try and guide their families along and sometimes they  probably don’t know what is that one thing a child will grasp and keep with them. The one thing I learned from my Dad was that he was always there to help someone. He gave a lot of his time volunteering in the community and was always there for his friends and people who needed his help. The guy went to a lot of meetings when I was growing up and as I think back, now I know why. He had many friends and was respected and he gave back to his community. I’ll always remember that about him. That and his worrying.

Another thing I owe to him is my love for working in the dirt. I love to garden and so did my Dad. We had beautiful gardens at our Connecticut home and everything was planted by Dad. I can remember helping him prepare the soil and plant this tree or that bush. Sometimes I did this involuntarily, wishing I were somewhere else at the time, but he taught me so much. Of course it was not until many years later that I realized I was learning something. Many times back then it was drudgery. He always explained why we were doing this to the soil and how good this rock wall would look with that plant, and so on and so forth. He had a real green thumb and I thank him now for those countless afternoons and evenings he requested my presence in the gardens. I always think of him whenever I put a plant in the dirt. Always will.

So for those of us who still have their Dads as part of their life, today should be a special time. It doesn’t have to be a lot of hoopla and gift giving. Just take a little time and quietly honor this special guy. For those who have just memories, lets take them and make them special today. Either way remember that Dads are important. After all, they take or took a lot of their time to worry about us. We can give a little back.