Friday, June 13, 2008

Fathers Who Deserve to Be Honored

Like many of you I have known some remarkable men who have done all they knew to do to be the best fathers they could be, whether their children were their own blood or children they chose to care and provide for. I have seen men live modestly in order that their children might live well, rarely receiving a word of thanks or acknowledgment from anyone. My heart has gone out to the good fathers who are divorced from the mothers of their children, and do everything within their means to continue fathering their children. I have seen men who don't have children of their own, reach out with great love to children who need them. I am in awe of good fathers. I am moved by the depth of their love and their ability to demonstrate that love over and over again.

My own father died many years ago. He comes to me in my dreams now, and some years after he died he pledged to protect me. I didn't know I needed protecting at the time, but more than once he has reached to me through the dream-time, helping me steer clear of my self-made sink holes.

With great delight, I watch my husband, assume the new role of both father and grandpa to my adopted daughter and grandchildren. It may all be new territory for him, but the moment he opens his heart and speaks—well, his heart know exactly what to say—and any apprehensions dissolve into laughter and inspiration. Isn't that one of the great gifts of a father? Someone who knows just what to say to inspire you to be all you desire to be.

On Father's Day, we have many wonderful fathers to be grateful for, don't we? So many dads doing their best. So many men inspiring us! At SpiritQuest, we will be offering a special ceremony for our fathers, and if you are a father of your own children or a father to children (or even adults) who need a fathering touch, we will be holding you in our hearts.

This beautiful Father's Day Prayer has been circulating among the SpiritQuest Council members. The author certainly captures the sentiments that live in the hearts of many of us.


Let us praise those fathers who have striven to balance the demands of work, marriage, and children with an honest awareness of both joy and sacrifice

Let us praise those fathers who, lacking a good model for a father, have worked to become a good father.

Let us praise those fathers who by their own account were not always there for their children, but who continue to offer those children, now grown, their love and support.

Let us pray for those fathers who have been wounded by the neglect and hostility of their children.

Let us praise those fathers who, despite divorce, have remained in their children's lives.

Let us praise those fathers whose children are adopted, and whose love and support has offered healing.

Let us praise those fathers who, as stepfathers, freely choose the obligation of fatherhood and earned their step children's love and respect.

Let us praise those fathers who have lost a child to death, and continue to hold the child in their heart.

Let us praise those men who have no children, but cherish the next generation as if they were their own.

Let us praise those men who have "fathered" us in their role as mentors and guides.

Let us praise those men who are about to become fathers; may they openly delight in their children.

And let us praise those fathers who have died, but live on in our memory and whose love continues to nurture us.

Kirk Loadman

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Seasons of Manifestation

The first week we moved into our home, we spent long, enjoyable minutes throughout our days just watching the neighborhood deer wander through our wooded yard. They were, and still are, a constant source of wonder and delight to us. On our morning walks, we quickly discovered the older ones hardly seem to notice if you are only feet within reaching distance as you walk by them.

A close friend of our who was visiting, went out three sunny mornings in a row to meditate and greet the sun, in the company of a deer who came to join her by sitting only a few feet away from her. When she left our home before the fourth morning, I wondered if "her deer" would be waiting for her the next day. Indeed the doe was there the following morning sitting in exactly the same spot as she had before.

When these sweet moments of trust and friendship occur, we are reminded that we are part of a greater relationship—a larger circle of life and creation that we actually understand very little about. Yet, when we pause our routines long enough to notice that greater relationship, we have an opportunity to employ time-enduring wisdom in our own acts of creation.

Enjoying our neighbor deer so much, I said to my husband one early June day last year, "Wouldn't it be wonderful if we could see a fawn?" We had seen a number of bucks and does, but had not yet seen a fawn. And I love baby anythings!

I gave it little more thought as we were getting ready for SpiritQuest in New Mexico. I was expecting a house-full of travelers and excited about meeting with old and new friends. They arrived, on schedule, on Solstice Day. So that evening, my friends joined with me around our patio table as I facilitated our annual Solstice tele-meditation. We were all floating in peace as we ended the meditation, breathing in the sunshine and sweet air around us. Our peaceful reverie was instantly broken by the sound of hoof-beats running down the hillside. A buck jolted itself to a stop about two feet from our deck and only about five feet from the nearest person. He seemed bewildered as he looked at us cautiously. In return, we all gawked with our mouths open at our sudden, but handsome visitor.

We shared this unusual experience with our listeners on the call and then opened up the conversation to those who wanted to experience their insights from the meditation. I then thanked everyone to end the call, when we were once again startled by the sound of another deer racing down the hillside. This time it was a doe and she stopped exactly where the buck had been, looking equally bewildered. By then, we were all in our own state of bewilderment, but smiling widely as we acknowledged the blessing of their presence at the time of our meditation.

The rest of the summer nothing more so dramatic occurred, though we did notice a buck and a doe who seemed to spend a lot of time near each other in our yard throughout the summer. We had not seen pairings like this before. Typically the doe hang out together, the bucks hang out, the bucks are chasing the doe during rutting season, or they are all grazing and mingling together, but not pairs of bucks and does.

Fall and winter passed, and with the spring, I was looking for fawns. I didn't have to look very far, because there in our own yard we got to enjoy the company of the buck, the doe and......yep........a fawn. The three of them spent a great deal of time in the shade of our upper story front deck and grazing on all the greenery in our back yard. So, I spent countless hours looking up from my desk to enjoy the three of them at home and at peace in our secluded little woods.

Enjoying lunch with my husband on the deck, I told him the deer had taught me a valuable lesson about manifestation. If I retraced the series of events that seemed to bring this sweet little fawn into our lives, it went like this. I lovingly spoke an intention and desire. I trusted I would see a fawn but did not attach to when, where, or how that would happen. I did my sacred work—blessing the sun, the plants, the land—the elements of nature that nurture the deer (and us too). Then, when the season was right. Yes, this was the observation that meant so much to me—when the season was right my heart's desire was filled beyond my anticipation.

So now, when I am holding something in my heart that I would love to experience, I remember, it will happen when the season is right.