A while ago I was on my late afternoon walk up the country road by my place.I live in a rural area and the dirt road is very hilly and winding. As I was rounding a bend in the road I had a flash back to an old school desk from my childhood. You know how sometimes when a memory surfaces from the distant past and you can’t even tell if it is an actual memory, a dream or something you imagined?Well,I had this image of an old solid metal school desk that was painted and on the writing surface was a painting of a country road that meandered along up a hill, around a bend and then disappeared into the horizon. I Made a mental note to myself to call my older sister and ask her if we really had a desk like that and miraculously (she seems to have forgotten many details from our childhood!) she said she remembered that desk very well and that our Father had painted it.I can remember being a small child and spending long periods of time staring at the painting and wondering about the world that inhabited it.Who walked along this road and where were they going?What adventures did they have along their way?I made up stories and dreamed of another way of life, in other times in the past when people had to take their time and walk to their destination…or maybe they rode their horse. I imagined a tricky fox that hid behind the tree on the road and jumped out to try and convince me to join him in some shady scheme. I dreamed of walking down the road with Laura Ingalls from my “Little House on the Prairie” books and the things we would talk about as we journeyed hand in hand down the road. You get the idea. I have pondered this desk and what an amazing gift it was to my sister and brother and I.A place in our lives where we could sit and dream. To think about what adventures could be waiting for us down the road. I wonder how this desk dreaming influenced my life and the choices I made that led me to this moment, here and now. And I asked myself…what am I doing or providing my children that gives them space to dream and create their story?
I have been wanting to write about this for sometime now..and don’t feel like I am doing it justice….but today is not only Valentine’s Day but also my dear Father’s birthday.I have been thinking a lot lately about the many gifts he made for us with his own two hands.The great wood kitchen that had a sink, oven, counter ,stove top all built into one unit and painted green.My sister and I spent countless hours playing in our very own little girl sized kitchen!As I got older I was not so appreciative of the homemade gifts…like on my 6th birthday the wooden tool box and tool set he gave me(I wanted a baby doll!).I think he wanted to empower me and not try force me into a stereotype of how girls should be or what they should like.Then a some time later my sister and I were DYING for a Barbie motor home(this was probably 1977) and when we tore open the package Christmas morning with both our names on it, sure it was the bright pink luxury Barbie Motor Home (!!!) we could barely hide our disappointment that instead we found a handcrafted wooden motor home.He must have spent every night after we went to bed for weeks and weeks working on this….it had everything a real motor home would have including a kitchen, bunk beds, carpet you name it!!But in that moment all I thought was “I can’t let my friends see this or they will know how poor we are.”I felt conflicted…on the one hand I could step outside of the peer pressure and see it for the work of art it was, even at age 7.On the other,I just wanted to be like every other girl in America with their bright shiny plastic toys!
I guess this blog today is a tribute to my Dad….who taught me so many amazing things in life.Who noursished my love for nature and being with the Earth.Who taught me the value of handcrafted quality work.Who talked to me as long as I wanted about God,the Universe,why are we here,INFINITY!!!The mystery of life.Who has always been so supportive of me being myself,even when that went against the grain of society or what he may have thought was best for me.I love you Dad and give thanks every day that I was born to you.Happy birthday Dad!