Today is the Summer Solstice and Fathers Day.
On this longest day of the year (if you’re in the northern hemisphere, that is) we acknowledge the Goddess, who is mother of all, who nourishes our crops that will sustain us through the long, dark winter.
The Goddess, or Mother Nature, or whatever you choose to call her, has a wicked sense of humor. At Beltane I asked her to help me in my search for love and friendship. Instead she sent me shingles. On the Summer Solstice I asked for money to nourish me financially since I lost a bit of money by not being able to work. Instead, she sent a kitten.
This is Midnight, as named by my neighbor.
She’s about three months old, maybe a bit younger. She’s definitely spent a lot of time around humans, so how did she end up in my neighbor’s back yard? Who knows. But the Goddess sent her there because they love animals, and now she is with me while we help her find her way home.
It’s a joy to watch this precocious child make herself at home and commence to rule the roost. She knows no fear in this home, which is a far cry from the home I grew up in, where I was often afraid of those who should have protected me.
I’ve watched Leroy take Midnight under his wing. I’ve heard of grizzled toms becoming amazing foster parents, but he’s the first I’ve personally observed. He also keeps an eye on Molly… and me. On this Fathers Day Leroy reminds me that it isn’t biology that makes a father.
At my father’s funeral I heard many people say what a good man he was. And, to be fair, he did many good things for me too. But the most vivid memories I have of him are of him often beating a very young me after my mother told him what a rotten kid I’d been that day, and me being so scared I’d piss myself. I remember his not visiting his children after he separated from my mother. I remember being forced to listen to grown-ass adults complaining to children about the other parent. I remember him threatening a teenage me because I had a boyfriend whose skin was dark.
When I see men with children and their faces are lit up like the night sky, I smile. Just yesterday I saw a man with a toddler coming out of Walmart and they were laughing and enjoying the day. The positive energy their bond emitted was undeniable. Today photos of dads and their children fill my social media feed, photos of the love between a father and child. I need those photos to remind me that what I experienced was not normal. By the same token, I remind you of what I lived through because many survived something similar, and they are not celebrating dear old dad today.
May the Goddess bless all of her children on this Solstice, and may fathers savor the love of their children on this day.