Sunday, June 21, 2009

A Summer Solstice Father's Day

Today of course, is the time to celebrate the summer solstice. The best way I know to celebrate is to enjoy every minute of this longest day of the year doing something you love, if your lucky, with someone(s) you love. If part of that day includes honoring the fathers in your lives, better yet! Some are still around, some are not. Some of the Father's are Mother's who stepped up to the plate when life turned out that way. My father hasn't been around on this planet for a long, long time, but so much of what he is to me will live myself, in my brother, in my children.

I wrote this for my Dad last year and seem to feel exactly the same way this year...Here's to you, Dad. It's better than a sharp stick in the eye!

An old fashioned Father's Day card that looks much like ones we gave our Dad...
with the tie tack and/or cufflinks, year after year after year, always to his delighted surprise. Dad's are funny, yeah they are.

My father raised four of us from the time I was four years old. He wasn't perfect, but he loved us all the best he knew how...and did a pretty damn fine job of it. The dark spots brighten in the light of his love (which, as I tell my own children, covers a multitude of parental errors).

He taught me how to cook and that the cook's helper gets to, and in fact, must *taste test* whatever is cooking. That's the law.

He taught how to capture fish and clams and shrimp and crabs, and how to clean and eat them too. He taught me how to swim and ride a horse and how to drive a car. But not all at the same time.

He taught me to see in the dark by taking us to watch sea turtles lay eggs on the beach at midnight. He taught me how to be quiet (yes, really, sometimes I am). He taught me to see in the light what is to be seen and to not overlook it.

He taught me how to sail and how to not be afraid of most things. He taught me to take care of myself, whether I wanted to or not. He taught me to not hold back on hugs or kisses or saying 'I love you'. He taught me not to pretend affection, and that I didn't have to do any of those things if I didn't mean it, that being polite was good enough.

He taught me that good manners are a way to live in the world more easily; a ticket to glide, not a false chore.
He taught me that there are good people and bad people and anything else about them really doesn't matter. Stick with one, stay away from the other: once you know which is which, it's pretty easy, though the mistakes will be costly, they can be lived through and beyond.

He taught me to love stories in life and stories in books, not to litter, not to lie and not to steal. And that if I had only one true friend in the whole world, that I was wealthy beyond measure. I am beyond any wealth in the universe if that is true. I think it is.

He taught me about good food and good liquor and how to live well without a lot of money. He taught me that simple is better than showy, and lasts a lot longer. He taught me none of this with words, he just did it, lived it and brought me along for the ride.

He's still teaching me, the same way. Happy Father's Day, Dad. Thanks. Hope you like my Culebra view (I know you do).

Remember that picnic I was suggesting you might want to take this morning, combining Father's Day and the Summer Solstice? Remember the mention of Stonehenge in England? Well, as I was doing more reading on that, I came across the perfect solution to so very many facets of the above! If you can't get to Stonehenge, make Baconhenge...and then eat it.

Carin Huber, on the website The Anticraft says of this creation: "Let Baconhenge be the site of your seasonal celebration! Let bacon stand in for the sacrificed Year King, French toast for the Grain Goddess, the eggs in the frittata for the Cosmic Egg, and the vegetables for the bountiful Earth on which we live."

That's exactly what I was, really, I was. Well, maybe not the Cosmic Egg part. And I don't know what the Year King is. But that bountiful Earth thing? She nailed it! In an eggy sort of way.

photo credit: Carol Squires

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