One of my joys in life is watching children with their fathers. The other day I was at the grocery store watching a father patiently wait as his son climbed up a rather tall stool where he was going to sit to enjoy some pizza with his dad. His father listened intently and with shared enthusiasm as his son talked to him about something the little guy was really excited about.

A little girl raised her arms up for her daddy to pick her up. He did and you could see the ease in her body as she rode comfortably in her daddy’s strong arms. And another little one passed by sitting astride her dad’s shoulders, grasping his forehead with her hands.

The last one reminded me of my own girlhood, riding on my dad’s shoulders. The rides were great, but whenever possible I would test my limits. Knowing my need to see how far I could go, my dad would sometimes help me to my feet to stand on his shoulders, while my mother watched, cringing. Best of all was when he freed his hands from my ankles, and I was balanced precariously on his shoulders. There I was—standing on the edge of my ability with a greater view of the world around me.

My brother was a lot like my dad. Though he did not have children of his own, he knew that children love to test their limits and that is one of the divine responsibilities of fathers, grandpas, uncles and brothers is to create a challenging, yet safe environment for that exploration.

When my brother, Jim, visited our nieces and nephews, he instantly became Jungle Jim, with little kids hanging from his limbs. They knew Uncle Jim would let them test their strength against him, wrestling with him and clambering on him. Instinctively, he knew when to let them triumph and when to make them work a little harder.

One of the great gifts from the Divine Masculine is the encouragement to aspire to and take action beyond our perceived limits. There in the safe and encouraging presence of the men who love us, we stretch. How many of us, when we were young, said to our father or a father-figure, “See what I can do?” as we proudly demonstrated a new achievement.

This desire to become action is the Divine white light of consciousness streaming through the infinite, dark womb of the feminine. The Divine Masculine is the dream manifesting into form. It yearns, even demands, to become the adventure of life becoming itself.

Before my father died, I had a vision with him in which I was completely wrapped in his enduring love. I felt many flavors of his love over time, including experiences in which we played roles other than father and daughter. What touched me deeply upon reflection in later years is that he has been there for me over and over again, across many lifetimes and realities—stepping into the adventure of life.

Then after his death, he came to me again in vision. This time, I saw him pledge his love to me and with it I knew came a deep abiding loyalty. He would be there for me whenever I needed him. I may see him again in this lifetime or perhaps the next, but I know we will both manifest in physical reality yet again. The commitment of his love for me, and the choices he made in this lifetime so that as a child I could know the powerful love of the Divine Masculine, continues to ripple through my life today.

My father taught me to bring forth my dreams into physical reality. In my quiet hours, as I welcome my personal awareness of the Divine Masculine to merge as one with me, I notice when the meditation is complete how compelled I am to bring forth the unified love I experience into action in the world.

One of my Native elders used to tell a story about how in the old days when a young man wished to marry a woman, her father would tell the young man how many horses the man needed to acquire and give to the father in order to win his daughter’s hand. This was not done because the father or the tribe needed more horses, but because a man needed to demonstrate he was able to transform his longings and dreams in Spirit into physical reality.

Through this exercise, and before she left her home, he demonstrated his loving connection to the Divine and her through action in physical reality. After all, it would be his depth of spiritual connection, commitment and ability to manifest that the tribe would want him to pass on to his children through his modeling and teaching.

Because the Divine Masculine lives inside all of us, what I learned from these teachings and my own father is that it is good have dreams and desires. It is good to have profound, loving relationship in the spiritual world. And it is important to bring those dreams into physical action for the benefit of ourselves and those we love.

To every man who has embraced the nature of his Divine Masculine self through the sacred energy of father, whether by blood or by choice or both, I honor you today and every day for the Spirit-guided action you bring to the lives of the children and the world.

In Honor of Fathers