I've always had a hard time sitting still. In church and at school, I'd squirm in my seat, itching to run, jump and play. It wasn't that I wasn't interested, I just had so much dang energy. My body couldn't take sitting still for so long when there were so many reasons to move!
Even today, I have to get up and get active every hour or so or I'll go a little stir-crazy. I'll get that energizer-bunny-impulse out of my system on a run over lunch, or let myself burn some energy by vacuuming the carpet (which is always covered in our huskys' infinite supply of stray fur) while on hold with a supplier.
But one of my favorite memories of my dad came when he showed me one of his favorite things, teaching me both with quiet, wonderful stillness. He opened my eyes to the stars.
Growing up in the middle of western Nebraska, we were blessed to have the clear night sky above us. The stars would twinkle brilliantly, without any city light or pollution to dim them.
On cool summer nights, Dad would lay out on a blanket in the middle of our front yard, and we'd lay side by side, backs to the earth, with the whole sky above us. From our cozy patch of the world, he'd point out clusters of stars, giving names to the pinpricks of light dotting the navy blue expanse.
He taught me how to find the Ursa Major, Ursa Minor and coppery Mars. He drew lines with his pointer finger, sketching out slithering Draco and galloping Pegasus. Through his eyes, the twinkling heavens were brought to life. A cast of vivid characters, each drawn with God's own hand.
After a while gazing up in stillness with Dad, that energizer-bunny in me would get squirmy again, and I'd get up to chase lightning bugs or turn cartwheels in the crabgrass between our yard and the pasture. But then he'd call me back to show me how Leo had prowled south, or just to gather me to his side for a warm, strong hug.
When bedtime came, it always arrived too early. I'd take Dad's hand and sleepily troop back into the house, reluctantly bidding farewell to the lions and dragons above us.
Now, when I look up from the backyard of my Elizabeth, Colorado ranch house, I still think of Dad, and can almost hear him describing the way the Big Dipper points to the North Star. In a way, it's like he's still here with me, reminding me to be still long enough to see the gifts God made, shining from heaven above.
Do you have a favorite memory that you shared with your dad? What did your dad teach you in that moment? Did you continue that tradition with your kids? Share yours with me in the comments below.
Whatever your traditions, I wish a Happy Father's Day to you and yours this weekend. Maybe you'll go out and look at the stars where you live, too, and make some lasting memories of your own.
P.S. If you're still looking for a Father's Day gift, check out our limited edition grilling aprons and Tee-Towels for dad, over in the products section of my website. Thanks for reading! <3