I woke this morning, alive to the idea of another day, eager to embrace the journey – big or small. Hot chocolate in hand – The Dragon Doesn’t Live Here Anymore sitting on my lap – Celtic Meditation streaming through the earbuds. What am I grateful for? Moments like this. I smile at the notion I may finally finish the book I started over three months ago (only 55 pages to go).
I remember the days of long car rides and proper road trips. There’s 2400 miles of opportunity between Orlando and San Diego. Oddly enough, the same is true of the trek from here to Bozeman, Montana. Hours and days filled with winding roads and epic scenery – me, book in hand. There was a time, decades really, in which I could read a book a day. Now, it either takes me a season, a literal season, or I don’t finish at all. I may or may not have more books started than finished since 2013.
The Dragon Doesn’t Live Here Anymore, a book that sat on my shelf for two years, a recommendation of my Father’s. One of three books he recommended the summer of 2015. The summer I found my way to Ohio after a decade of absence. Desperately drawn to the state that holds my heart – my birthright. A moment of time following a season of turmoil. First-class tickets bought on a whim, in a free-spirited attempt to escape. I needed to free myself of my prison, and I needed my Dad.
I sit here looking around this room of mine, and I cannot ignore the presence of my Father. One of the most profound lessons of my life was learned only last year –
We all do the best we can in every moment,
given the knowledge we had in-hand at that moment.
I think about my Dad, and the relationship we’ve had through the years, and I know in my heart, God was ever-present. My Dad was absent for as long as I can remember. As a child, an adolescent, my Dad was never present, even when he was present. Yet, I have memories of his best efforts – his eagerness to please. To buy me whatever I wanted (within limits), taking me out for a meal, and the newest movie. This was my Dad doing the best he could, and I love him for it.
There came a time in his life, one I did not see, or could not understand. A time when he found himself seeking, looking for answers, and reaching out. I’m certain my Dad was always seeking – I’m certain he still does. Avidly reading, and opening himself freely to all possibility’s and ideals. I always saw him as a philosopher – too deep for my understanding. At least that’s how I felt, but now I know what I saw as too deep was my Dad teaching me about God and love.
In his own way and in his own time, he chose his moments, planting seeds but never overshadowing them. Me, completely unaware of the harvest that would come to pass – unaware of the gifts my Father bestowed upon me. The first, Accept this Gift, a collection of works from A Course in Miracles*. Inside the front cover – To Aubrey, with all my love, Dad. 6-17-1989. You can look at this book and see that I never read it. Oh, I’m sure I glanced at it out of kindness, but it meant nothing to me.
That’s not entirely true, I was grateful to have received a gift from my Father. A gift made dearer to me by the personalization within it. See, we were both doing the best we could with the knowledge at hand. I only saw a gift, an exchange of love, I never saw what was inside. I was just happy that my Dad thought of me. Graciously accepting the gift, taking care to put it in a safe place. A cool dry place where the treasures of life cannot be ruined.
Here we are nearly 30 years later, I open the book and what do I see? The answers to the questions I’ve been asking all along. God and purpose. Belief and perception. Identity and self. Pain, guilt, fear, and judgment. Forgiveness, freedom, and love. The path of light leading to one’s ability to awaken to God. How could I not have seen? Was I so blinded by pain, so distracted by life, that I couldn’t see my earthly Father reaching out to me?
…… To be continued
This took an unexpected turn, one I’m tremendously excited about, but one that will take some time to traverse. See you soon….
Photo by Ruben Gutierrez