When I remember Dad these days, it’s often to feel a sense of appreciation for a man who became my father at 46 years of age. It’s hard to believe that he began MY life at the exact age when I look around after a long Saturday, and say, “Is this as good as it gets? Am I washed up?” Then, after a nap or a cup of coffee, I’m ready with my bucket of water, to charge into Hades, and see what can happen. It’s a fascinating state of being, a wealth of energy, spent quickly, and therefore, precious.
“Thank you, Dad,” I feel gratefulness in every part of my being. Forgive me my recollections, but it’s all Jon Harper‘s fault. As a young father chatting with his daughter, even as my daughter is home with an engagement band clinging to her ring finger and I know time is on the move again, I was moved deeply by his piece, Speechless.
…the question my daughter asked continued to perplex me. Or more specifically, the fact that I couldn’t answer what should have been an easy question, was upsetting. But as I thought more about my inability to answer a seemingly simple and innocent question, I began to realize why I was speechless. Read the whole blog entry
When I look at my daughter and son, I feel an inexpressible gratitude thrumming through me, a gratitude that extends to my mother, my father, for every single mark they left on my soul, like a blade in the forge.
It’s at times like these, I realize, that I would change nothing because it is all so valuable, so beautiful, indefinable and blended into the structure of who and what I am. Every bit of us, as parents, sings a song of love that is unique because of the imperfections we have, as much as for how we embody His Spirit.
Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.
You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them,
but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
You are the bows from which your children
as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
and He bends you with His might
that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
so He loves also the bow that is stable.
Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet On Children