Wednesday, January 14, 2009

What's up?

Wednesday's mornings I get to drive my 10 y/o daughter to school. It's about a 20 minute drive so we get time to talk, a favorite time for me. We load her (newly achieved full size) cello and trombone into the back of the car, add backpack stuffed with lunch box, homework and treasures. Add music bag.

This morning we're driving a rental suv the result of a slight fender bender someone else's daughter had with my wife's Scion. I talked to her father. We agreed it was a "million dollar accident" - hopefully lesson learned, damage small, no injuries. We also agreed that being a father was a vulnerable enterprise. We love our daughters and now they are out there in the world and protecting them becomes more and more a matter of faith.

My daughter pops her feet up on the dash - "can I do this in this car?" she asks. Why not I say and she reaches over and grabs my hand holding it tight in her lap. Soon she's dozing off and I see the woman in the girl, her mother's body, her serious approach to school, her inquisitive spirit.

These moments reminding me of my years on a Pennsylvania farm when I was a boy and again when I was a teenager. I loved the smells of earth overturned in plowing, of new grass mowed for haying, the barn in winter, my own small calf whose milky mouth smelled sweet. Later in our ride I tell my daughter of silage in winter and how the cows went kind of crazy with the smell of it. Promise of spring grasses, days out in the pasture. I was fully present to these experiences, and lived them as Dylan Thomas says (Fern Hill) as if "time held me golden in her arms."

These memories remind me of the critical importance of being present with my daughter of being here, now. I am so easily seduced into worrying about finances, or global warming, or violent conflicts in other parts of the world. All legitimate concerns. Yet, these moments with a ten year old 'tween' who will herself soon be forming the consciousness another generation offers to the challenges of this world, these moments are golden.


Stephen Frueh PhD said...

The challenge is to live fully in the world attending as best you can to all the many demands on your energy. Yet, we must Stop! Look! and Listen! to those we love, to the simple offers of nature, and to our own inner longing for intimate connections.

Minister Mamie L. Pack said...


What a beautiful way to capture a priceless moment! I too have learned the importance of enjoying the journey instead of being so focused on the outcome. Being able to transition to a stay at home mom has really helped me appreciate moments that I didn't even realize that I was missing.

with blessings,

Minister Mamie

drew said...

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