My Daddy was a quiet man with a silence that was void of sounds; yet, you could feel a powerful and profound essence within him. It was like seeing the ocean on a clam night with the moon and the stars reflecting in the water. You knew you were feeling the wisdom of the universe; nonetheless, its silence was loud, the knowledge was so penetrating it would pierce your heart and you could feel it deep within you. You understood the way of being with Daddy. You felt a certain way around him, safe totally without fear. You knew that you were loved and that you could intrude into that silence to ask even the simplest questions without feeling anxious.
He would always ponder before he would answer a question. He loved to walk the perimeter of our fields, and it could take several rounds before you would get an answer. Then his face would light up with that smile of his, and in a voice soft with caring, he would in a few words give you your answer. Often, he would ask what you thought or what would you do. If he wanted you to find the answer yourself, he would say “It is just the way of being, the way things are.” That was my clue to investigate, ask more questions, read my books and ask other people. Days later as we walked the field together, he would ask me if I got my answer. He would have a great big smile, put his hand on my shoulder, and say well done. We walked the rest of the way in silence listening to the sounds of being.
He taught me that we give quietly, help without expectation, and always have a cool bucket of water by the well for the dusty traveler.
I guess you would say Daddy was an introvert; yet, he loved one-on-one time with people. He gave back as if his generosity and caring was boundless. Back then it wasn’t about money. If someone needed a car fixed or food for their table, he willingly was there to help. He would work from daybreak until early evening then go help a neighbor take in tobacco until nightfall. From Daddy, I learned a way of being that would stay with me for a lifetime. He taught me that we give quietly, help without expectation, and always have a cool bucket of water by the well for the dusty traveler. He would say that’s who we are and what we do. It is the way of being in our family.
Point Of View
My Father was a carpenter by trade and he always said that what we learned in life was a tool that we now had to put in our life’s toolbelt. With these tools, we could fix things, demolish things, and his hope would be that I would create things.
Some of the old tools work so much better than the new tools; and yet, we need to keep finding new tools. The way of being is ever growing, ever changing, and our way of being is not one way but an accumulation of many ways. We often ask why we are the way we are. The simple answer is we are where we came from, who influenced us, and what we learned from our journey.