The meaning of father–of dad–is different for all of us, as individual as our own experiences. Was your father a role model? Nurturing? Or something else altogether, perhaps troubled or abusive or never around? The inventory of Father’s Day cards covers a wide spectrum. You’ll find a few that are gushing sentiment… next to others from “across the miles.” Still others take a lighter tack, highlighting sports or beer, camping and hunting or tinkering with cars and carpentry–all things my own father has enjoyed over the years.
I saw the face of God once, in the summer clouds over my backyard fence. One minute it was water vapor and the next: My God, It’s God! That’s what I thought, anyway. I was a kid all those years ago and the preacher’s daughter, so naturally impressionable. And who hasn’t seen shapes in the clouds? Elephant, crocodile, Alfred Hitchcock’s puffy profile. Why not throw God in there too? But it didn’t seem like that, like some childish fantasy.
The minute before I was running home over the grass, hop-scotching dandelions that flashed under my feet. Halfway there, I changed my mind about going inside. It was the sky, the way it invited me to take a running leap and soar up past the power lines. I did the next best thing and flopped to the grass instead, sniffing a chest full of its weedy perfume. The sky was blue as a carnival sno cone, with choppy clouds like shaved ice, except for one that poured all silvery and strange, like the jar of mercury my teacher once brought to school. Continue reading