Three years ago my father made his transition back to the non-physical and I am thinking of him as I prepapre to drive down the mountain to Roanoke, less than 2 miles from where my family lived when I was very young. We lived on what is now the Roanoke College campus when he started out his career in college leadership.
I am grateful for the way he taught me to build things. To take a seed idea and develop it, bring resources to it, bring it into being, and offer it to serve the community. I am grateful for his ability to think in abstract, non-literal terms.
“Do you believe in God, Dad?”
“I believe there is Order in the Universe.”
I am grateful that he introduced me to nature and awakened in me a love of silence and of music. I am grateful that we rose up above story and became friends.
I am grateful that he saw through to the essence of things and of people as he got older and was impressed not so much by titles and roles as by their nature.
When he was VP of Claremont College he was called upon to spend an afternoon, one on one with the Dalai Lama. Show him around campus, entertain him.
About this interlude, my father said simply, “He is a very nice man.”