In the rare event that a cool Canadian airmass happens to come sauntering down off the High Plains, the sultry Gulf Stream does not take kindly to this intruder.
Growing up out in the rural woodlands of East Texas, such tempests were sure to be accompanied by at least two or three hours of power outages. We didn’t mind it much. Rain, even if accompanied by destructive winds and lightning/thunder is still seen as a blessing in a Season so bereft of precipitation.
My family, having been relieved of the distracting ensnarements of television, was forced to sit around and talk to one another by ambient candlelight… even as the storm raged outside.
I learned more about my father during power outages than in the many days between.
Though I cannot recall much of the various sporting events or other sorts of programs which yammered out of its flickering maw, the memory of almost every power outage is seared into my recollection… especially those instances in which my father felt inclined to “hold court” in spinning aphorisms or anecdotes.
My siblings and I would sit spellbound as my father wove tapestries of everything from hell-bent reveries tearing souped-up hot rods along the backroads of East Texas to the mystic misty mornings in the steamy jungles of Southeast Asia.
I think I loved my father most during these times; he seemed such an alive and epic figure… an image that contrasted bitterly against the battered and tattered figure who broke his back ten hours a day to provide for his family.
Being a strange sort of boy, one whom often despised his father almost as much as he worshipped him, I wanted more of the former man and less of the latter. I wanted to sit beside the heroic figure of his stories and know the brilliant and mad man my father once was.
Now I am a shepherd to my own “little flock” of precious ones, and I too feel the particular sting of having to bear the “curse of Adam” in providing for the material needs of my household.
On this day of civic observance, of which fathers are to be lauded and recognized, my thoughts are heavy in contemplation of what it is to be a father… of my father’s strengths and weaknesses, of my own as well.
More than this, though, I think upon my Almighty Father. I consider His love and guidance for me, and how His character reveals how I am to lead those whom He has entrusted into my care.