Today would have been your 106th birthday. Although you lived to 90, there is little of my life today that you knew about. Partly because you were 40 when I was born, and I repeated that cycle with my own children. Partly because it is precisely in the years since your death that I have moved into my own, as writer, facilitator, late-blooming spiritual feminist.
Yet most parts of my life, in fact, evolved directly from you, things for which I am entirely grateful and things you would not only recognize but appreciate. Like the ‘grand-daughter who looks like me’ of your heart wish. And so much more:
For you, I learned to bake and the necessity of dessert.
To you I owe the gift of language at play and a wry sense of humor.
With you I shared many lazy Sunday afternoons biking uphill and down along the country lanes of my youth.
From you I learned love of the land, mountains, sea; and the joy of cultivating a plot of dirt for both beauty and nourishment.
By your example, I learned the importance of presence, patience and deep listening.
You lived a life of quiet moderation and deep conviction. Despite your world-wide stature as a ground-breaking chemist, you carried yourself with utmost humility. Intensely private and well-known by none, you nonetheless managed in your last years to offer me heartfelt expressions of your love. All told, you opened me to a more conscious way of living, to the spiritual feminine values that have become the underpinning of my work in the world.
I love you, Dad, and I miss you terribly.
Your ‘little sunshine’