All In A Day

Yesterday was Fathers Day in North America. I’m glad to be able to be with my daughter (above) and my son in-law, my son and my daughter in-law, and my youngest son. These are people with whom I have most direct relationship as a Dad. Fun to bbq some chicken, potatoes, and green beans. Fun to have chocolate cake with my grandma’s recipe for caramel icing.

Yesterday was also my daughter’s birthday. She turned 25. Fun again to just be with her, to celebrate 25 years of her life. She and her husband are visiting for a week in Utah, from New York City where they now live.

Yesterday was a lot of things that were more than chocolate cake and the sweetness of family. I found myself very glad to be in multiple layers of what is also real about June 21, 2020. And, glad that fathering, and familying, now include conversation and sense-making together.

Yesterday was also Indigenous Peoples Day, honoring first people of the continent that is North America. The land was not empty when settlers came from Europe. There were people here. The land wasn’t “free for the taking” though this became such a dominant mode of action, creating deep wound and scar that is at the core of this region’s needed maturing now. That’s worth talking about.

Yesterday was also two days after Juneteenth, a commemoration of freedom for black people in the USA. Though the proclamation against slavery had been formalized in 1863, its wasn’t until 1865 that a last holdout ground in Texas were forced to get on board with emancipation. Black slaves, in some cases were moved from southeastern states by slave owners to the less policed territory of Texas — to protect their “right” to economic advantage. That’s worth talking about.

Yesterday was also Summer Solstice in the northern hemisphere. The longest day of sunlight given the position of the earth’s rotation around the sun, and planetary tilt that provides a solid 16 hours of daylight where I live. There’s celebration in it. Perhaps some humility. Perhaps mystery. That’s worth talking about.

And, and, and. Protests, not riots. Movement for peace, not quiet. Breaking barriers, not windows. Systemic injustice. Systemic prejudice. Systemic white supremacy. Pain. Grief. Sorrow. Anger. Compassion. Grace. That’s worth talking about.

We didn’t get to all of that yesterday. But we did get to some of that. And will continue to do so. I love my kids. And my fathers. And, what fathering means today includes going with and contributing to momentum so that we celebrate the simple beauty of relations, of love, of chocolate cake, and, the stories and situations and historic movements of our times.

All in a day.


No, not battle tanks.

As a kid, I came from a family that valued not wasting things. This included food — “can’t leave the table until you finish what is on your plate.” My grandparents lived through an economic depression. It was natural that this was part of our family belief system. As an adult with kids of my own, I tried to sell them on “the last bite is always the best.” It worked sometimes. But kids are clever. “My broccoli tank is full, but my desert tank is empty.”

I returned yesterday from a trip to see my daughter and son in-law, new residents of New York. There is a certain tank that feels filled from the time with them, for which I am grateful. I’m not totally sure what that tank is. Feels like lots of things healthy. A “connection to loved ones” tank. A “family playfulness” tank. A “getting to be dad” tank. A “getting to be welcomed” tank. A “getting to give them flowers” tank pictured above, a little artifact to presence the time together for just a bit longer after our parting.

The tank is likely also something even further underneath all of that. I suppose I share all of this because I feel tender with it, cracked open. And I suppose, I’m the kind of person that believes something like that with family can be true with team, and with groups, and with communities. I seek more of the conditions with groups that invite us to be tender together, and cracked open. And filling many tanks together — expanding fields of belonging.

What a gift to be with good people, smart and kind people, exploring even for a moment, life together. What a gift to feel filled. Noticeably. Palpably. And what a gift to do some filling.


I suppose if I had a word for the day, today would be “recalibrate.”

I think of recalibrating as adjusting a setting. Like adjusting a dial to get a more clear signal on a radio station. So as to get frequency. So as to get clarity. Or like adjusting from the feeling of this vastness in the photo above, taken last week looking south to Columbia Lake and the Purcell Mountains, to perhaps some less vast spaces.

Transitions require a certain kind of recalibrating. My version of transition today is the adjustment of having been in Canada for a week for family and vacation time. The recalibrate is returning from that to Utah, to a regular work week, and a significant pile of todos.

Canada was family and friends. Shared cooking and eating of meals. Shared recreation. It was walks, sometimes more than one per day. It was forested mountains. It was deer in the sleepy town streets (and this year, a frequenting black bear). Canada was playing card games and ping pong. I suppose a summary for me is that it was prioritized connection — squeezing a lot in to a short period of time. Including some nothingness, but nothingness together.

Return, and recalibration, is to solo dwelling for me. Needed for my introvert side, but noticeably different too. Return is simplified meals. The last half of a peanut butter and honey sandwich with a few slices of cucumber that need to be eaten. Return is reconnecting to several threads of work. Projects to move along and to prepare for. Return is recalibrating to focus, to meeting times, and to a few deadlines.

All of it is good. It’s just that the shift requires this recalibrating. It’s not a good thing to a bad thing. Nor vice versa. I’m grateful for variety in my life. I’m grateful to family that moves to tears in parting goodbye. I’m grateful for friends that indelibly germinate in my heart. I’m also grateful for work that brings connection and learning to the forefront. For people with imagination and determination to work together in better ways. I’m grateful for this that also grows in my heart.

Recalibrating. I suppose it is a bit of welcoming the past and applying it to the now. I suppose it is a bit of directing a kindness and consciousness, a flow with life, into a different environment.

That awareness alone helps me somehow land just a bit more in to today’s recalibrating. I’m glad for that.

But Lasting — On Friendship

I wrote this poem after a time of having friends in my home for a few days. We were in simple community together. Stories. Meals. Laughs. Tears. Some blue skies. Some early spring leafing of trees.

Got me thinking about family of blood and family of friends.

As an honoring of friendships that are family, I offer this poem.

But Lasting

Thank you friends,
for coming this way,
for these days together
in joy, play, and thoughtful connection.

Those twenty minutes
sharing stories from the day
much different.

I think these are moments
of family,
but lasting.