Sunday, 18 June 2017

The Nature of Nurture

How to mark the day set a side to honour fathers?

 For me it has taken on the form of symbolic. By that I mean the only father I "knew;" was my adopted father, and he has passed-over. My biological father could still be around in physical form; that at present, continues to be part of the mystery. So I'm not pressed to join for brunch or connect over poorly played golf. Being on my own and by virtue of the previous, there's no potentially conflicted negotiation, generated by respective family engagements vying for attendance.

I suppose it's significant, if for no other reason than it's true for me, that I myself am not a father. At this particular place in time; that would appear to me, to likely hold true, for my remaining time on the planet.

None of this is intended to become a lament. Though one doesn't make my number of trips around the sun without ample opportunity to have made many choices, lived the consequences of those choices, considered at depth through reflection and retrospection each of them - to heal the wounds and mine the gold - it is still my intention to distill all of it, in order to derive: "the best is yet to come."

Some of the afore mentioned includes some attendant sadness and is not without at least some threads of regret. I say that to bring to bear full acknowledgment of these parts of myself; while at the same time asserting; that these in no way define me, or represent the prevailing energy I carry.

So then, back to the opening question. To begin with, today (Father's day) while sitting at breakfast at the B & B; a man that I judge to be younger than me and his son came in.  What powerful imagery lies there within. Mine to witness, to share in and to honour. I wished the young man a heartfelt "Happy Father's Day!" He literally lit up ... after this simple acknowledgement.

I don't know the circumstances that have these two traveling together - just that there they are. Having never taken a trip with my dad or gone for a meal with just the two of us, what I'm seeing is profound. Therefore my celebration, is the continued honouring of my brother's & the value of & need for, their full participation in this life.

Then I ponder whether "Father-ing" is restricted to the quantitative proliferation of humanity and it's attendant contribution to the nurturing of the family. Of course this in itself is a priceless, sometimes maligned, sometimes undervalued, sometimes missing role.

To not father is a lesser known choice. I'm not talking about having sired and walking away (or in some cases running). I'm referring to a conscious choice not to be a father. I imagine the numbers to be relative few over all - I certainly haven't engaged in many (virtually none) conversations that don't include parts of a trajectory that presume "parenting" is a foregone conclusion.

What of "fathering:" visions, ideals, innovation, evolution, revolution? If it can be held to be true that there is no hierarchy where contribution to humanities evolution is concerned; then what of those that have directed their energy and focus, to the expansion of the soul?

Of course one could participate in the raising of family and direct themselves to additional worldly and spiritual pursuits. It must be noted that none of it is mutually exclusive. At least to some degree, it is a matter of assigned priority.

There is mounting evidence that limited male role paradigms are significantly contributing to a widespread crisis; creating a profound mental/spiritual/emotional malaise impacting countless men. In light of this, it must at least be considered, that "traditional male roles" be allowed to be redefined and expanded. Perhaps the framework of "hunter, gatherer, protector" had it's place as an evolutionary contribution ensuring ongoing survival; without which, the opportunity for evolution couldn't occur. However, "survival" in and of itself; is woefully inadequate, when considered along with the call of the soul. How radically might roles (male and female) transform if ongoing soul-fulfillment were given a front seat? How would societies as a whole shift?

Those that make contributions outside the trajectory of what's considered "normal" do so following the impassioned call of heart and soul. I won't declare this a sacrifice, however it certainly involves a "trade-off."

Today I celebrate having been fathered. It doesn't matter what form that took. By virtue of it, "something" was put in motion. Father's (and Mothers) are contributing all day, every day. And so it is with those in roles and walks of life, that don't include parenting.

 Parental roles include loving, compassion, empathy, understanding, teaching, learning, conscientiousness, vision, attention, energy, focus, hope, nurturing, support, encouragement, cheerleading.......

The point is the role is a vastly important calling.

But it doesn't end with the rearing of children.

Take any one of those attributes or combination thereof, and live them into the world wherever you go.

Parenting may begin with biology, but it doesn't end there.


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