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My 93 year old father was professor of music in a midwestern Lutheran college while I was growing up. Fully versed in church doctrine and Luther’s catechism before I hit puberty, I was the weird child who actually loved every minute of it. Upon reaching the age of emancipation, I left the cozy nest of my beloved, nurturing progenitors and flew off to discover the world’s cultures, religions and people…roaming the far reaches of this mind and soul in search of the depth and breadth of God.A few years ago, Dad and I were out shopping together and happened upon a store filled with sacred items from around the world. This statue captivated my attention, and I noticed that it had been made from ash left behind after the Mt. St. Helen’s explosion in 1980. The juxtaposition of the tranquil beauty of meditation, created out of such a violent act of Nature, was a stunning reminder to live each day in equanimity in the midst of life’s storms. Standing beside me in that marketplace, my father could see what was deep within these eyes. He purchased this symbol of peace as a gift, even though he did not comprehend my life-long and metamorphic connection to spiritual pathways other than his own.Every morning since then, dawn is alight with a little candle at the feet of this representation of placidity. It is a beautiful reminder of how loved I am by my father, and how mighty the spiritual oak tree within me has grown from the acorn of my parent’s love of God, planted within this heart as a tiny girl.I love you, Daddy. Happy 93rd BirthDay.

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