With father’s day rapidly approaching once again in a “holy-cow-I-don’t-have-a-gift-yet” fashion (as though it’s not on the calendar every year), it’s time to turn to reflections of that man we call “Dad”. Where to begin?
It’s at this point I begin to vacillate between nostalgic & reminiscent son, or hysterical & witty son. Do I list and expand upon each and every sacrificial, loving, kind and generous act he’s displayed through the years, or do I lovingly poke fun? Choices.
Why All The Effort?
Being a “grown up” with work and home responsibilities, I’m ever-increasingly aware of the sheer volume of labor my Father put into caring for his family. Whether it be his dogged and determined transplanting efforts as he shaped our barren lawn to a small tree farm, or overseeing his weekend landscaping crew (i.e. his boys) as they diligently mowed the lawn or laboriously harvested his garden (I may be taking artistic license here), we learned one very important fact of life; nothing worth enjoying comes without effort. While there was no shortage of groans and moans as my brother and I were enlisted each Saturday morning to mow, weed, trim and rake, my Father knew the reward was in waiting. All we knew in the moment is that the old man was a taskmaster and we were torn from our beds and a date with cartoons in exchange for hours of toiling under the midday sun. Being myopic, as youthfulness often does to a soul, we only saw the moment.
And while I haven’t asked my Dad yet, I’m sure that in those warm, summer country evenings as the BBQ filled the air with the smell of grilled vegetables while my siblings and I ran barefoot through the cool, freshly mowed grass, it all made sense and was worth the effort. His goal wasn’t the labor filled day, but rather the family-filled evening. This is precisely what he had in mind those Saturday mornings, and I get it. Isn’t this what all of our endeavors each Spring are about? We get out in the cold and muddy soil, sore back and dirtied knees with the hope that perhaps in a few weeks (or months when it comes to vegetable gardening) we’ll have something to enjoy. As gardeners, sure we enjoy the process and love investing in this age-old activity, but would we do it without the payoff? I doubt it.
As an ode to Dad’s everywhere, we’ve compiled some images that remind us of the role that this icon has played in our lives. We hope you enjoy!