By: Josh @rawtrails
Giggling and poking at one another, my siblings and I struggled to lie still on the living room rug like my father asked.
“Hush now, I’m going to turn off the lights and I want everyone to try to be quiet and listen,” my father said.
The lights went out. It took a minute for our eyes to adjust. Three large windows and the massive sliding glass door quickly let in what little light was outside that evening. We could see the ominous storm clouds covering the night sky and within seconds… “CRACK!” The entire living room lit up as if it were mid-day. Above the excited screams and giggles from my siblings and I, my dad started loudly counting, “One-One-Thousand, Two-One-Thousand, Three-One…” “CRACK!” Another bolt of lightning shot across the sky, framed perfectly in our picture window. We counted together as the storm got closer and closer until it seemed to settle directly over our house before passing on.
It was only a few minutes. It didn’t take a week-long vacation in an RV or at a cabin up in the mountains. But in those few minutes of our very own living room, my father taught me a lesson I have never forgotten; sometimes in life, there are beautiful things right outside our window but all the chaos and light inside the house distracts us from seeing it. So slow down, listen, and look because if you’re not paying attention, you might miss it!
Since that day when I was 6 years old, I have never feared lightning storms. In fact, there are few things in nature that I love more. And every time there is a lightning storm I think of my dad and that valuable lesson that has shaped my life.
Dads have the power to do this; give us lessons by word and example that will mold the people we become. And the more time that goes by, the more grateful I am that I had a father that used that power to show me what is truly important in life. My father not only exemplified what it means to truly appreciate the world and its beauties, but taught me many other meaningful lessons on things such as sacrifice, thriftiness, and hard work. And for these things and so much more, I will be forever grateful for my dad. This is why it’s such a blessing that we have a day set aside to honor our fathers. We all get busy. Things get pushed aside that don’t demand our attention. Father’s Day reminds us to focus on that significant relationship we have with our fathers.
Every year, I struggle to come up with what to do, or what to give my dad for Father’s Day. Part of why it’s so difficult is because anything I do seems to pale in comparison for what he’s done for me for so many years. Like, “Hey dad, thanks for taking care of me for 18 years and raising me into the man I’ve become. Here’s some socks.” It just doesn’t feel like it’s enough. But an incredible thing about fathers, is that they don’t expect to be repaid. They do all of that out of pure love, nothing more. So what could be a better repayment for love than love?
So when it comes time to decide what to do for the father in your life, whatever you choose to give, do so with love. A call to tell him how much you care. A letter expressing your gratitude. A gift that has sentimental rather than intrinsic value. Share with him the memories you hold; of happy times and lessons he taught that still stay with you. Take advantage of this Father’s Day to express your love, because like those lightning storms, this time is only right over our heads for a moment.
Happy Father’s Day!
About the Author:
Josh (@rawtrails) is an avid outdoorsman that lives for the weekend. His youthful spirit is ignited by exploring new terrain wherever he goes. Most weekends are filled with canyoneering expeditions throughout the Colorado Plateau, but he loves the logistics of piecing together trips involving multiple activities (backpacking, pack rafting, etc) to access remote locations deep in the backcountry.