Father's Day

Father's Day Fallbrook Some date in the approximate middle of my amazing and magical life....

I must have been about 6 or 7 years old...

It is a beautiful morning and we are at the Wright Patterson airfield. We are in the middle of a large crowd; April, Eric and me: Mom trying to keep us all in line. Everyone is lined up along a temporary fence, erected to keep us back from the edge of the runway. An airshow is beginning. There are airplanes taxiing along the runway, canopies open, pilots and co-pilots waving at the crowds. Next come the auxiliary vehicles; jeeps, water trucks, tankers. Their drivers and passengers wave too and the crowds wave back and cheer. They all pass, and the runway empties. Expectant silence, and then....

"Ladies and gentlemen!," the announcer, his voice full of excitement. "Look fast because it won't be here long!" Here comes Captain Harvey Royer in a T38 fighter trainer...."

The unmistakeable, piercing roar of a jet engine, thundering toward us, flashing silver, along the runway, past us and then climbing almost vertically into a cloudless blue sky. I am jumping up and down, screaming: "That's my daddy! That's my daddy!"

I am filled with pride, wonder, awe, and one of my earliest glimpses of the mystery...which will never leave me.

Because my Father is who he is, I have taxied down a runway at daybreak in a single engine Cessna and waited our turn to take off: watching as the fighter jet ahead of us turns on his afterburner and flames into the sunrise. I have sailed the Pacific Ocean on a starry night while dolphins at play circled us, flashing trails of green phosphorescence. I have seen the night sky high in the Sierra Nevada mountains, stars so dense I feel myself falling into them as I watch. I can sail a boat, change the oil, a spark plug, a tire. I can build a fire, pitch a tent, follow almost any kind of map. I can wander alone into southeast Asia and know I will find my way...

Because of him, I stretch and explore my intellect to its limits. And I find there are no limits. There is only limitless wonder and mystery. And because of who he is and who he has been in my life: because he has always loved me this way and I have always known it, I am free to follow my sense of wonder and mystery wherever it leads....

Somehow, 'thank you' just isn't enough...