Its my Dads birthday today. He lives in Ireland on the other side of the planet. I really miss him. Seeing his face, I miss his big bear hugs, his lectures on the politics of the world. He is a ferocious reader. I think he probably reads for 10 hours a day. I don’t think I could ever catch up to the amount of books he has read.
Last week we sent him a singing birthday video through Viber, I was six days early. My sister replied with ‘who’s birthday’ ??
The thought was there though. The sentiment is the same if not with even more love. Six days later and a lot has happened. Three girls my Mum and Dad had. Three women. My Dad was tough with us, he still is, but he is also ever so loving. He doesn’t have time for victims, he wants his daughters to be strong independent women. He used to buy us big heavy boots and make us walk for miles on a Saturday across an Irish bog. When we returned our small legs would be so tired I would almost feel like crawling home. I always remember him charging on ahead with our oddball but loving black dog by his side. My sister and I once vomited on a small mountain after we had cycled up it. It turned out we had a tummy bug but we remind him that it was his sergeant major tendencies that made us so ill.
Yesterday during the crazy morning rush somehow the boys were asking me about songs I used to sing as a kid. There is a cassette tape in my parents house of me singing a few songs when I was about four. My all time favourite ‘The Ugly Duckling’, and ‘The Good Ship Lollipop’.
I could only remember some of the lyrics for the boys so we jumped on You Tube to find the songs. “The Good Ship Lollipop-Shirley Temple-I had no idea or at least I had forgotten where this song had come from and ‘The Ugly Duckling-Walt Disney. I suddenly remembered how much listening to music was a part of my childhood and I wondered and hoped that my boys would also form similar explicit memories with music from their childhood.
My Dad often listened to records, classical music mostly. We had no screens sucking the life out of us back then in the 80s just a tiny black and white TV. We even had some of our own records. I had ‘Peter and the Wolf’ an orchestral story. I always remember the cover of that record. The music was both scary and captivating it left you on the edge of your seat even without any lyrics as you visiualised the scenario of Peter being chased by the wolf.
Lately the boys are into reading about space. Every-time I read the same stuff over and over I learn something new. Our world, our galaxy, our universe is completely and utterly mind boggling. I’m struck by what a miracle, a one in a million chance that their is life on this planet.
The fact that we have water and our air has enough oxygen to sustain life from the smallest of amoeba to whales, elephants and humans. We are only the third planet from the sun. Our position just happens to be perfect to maintain a livable temperature.
Venus-The hell planet is covered in clouds of poisonous sulphuric acid, the air is so heavy we would be crushed by it. Venus is 108.2 million km from the sun. Earth is 149.6 km from the sun and yet our average temperature is 15 degrees Celsius compared to Venus at 465 degrees.
And hear we are, us humans on this incredibly stunning blue planet making a fucking mess.
I have faith though.
I like to think back to that 4 year old and when for some reason that song “The Ugly Duckling” spoke to my soul. He was never really ugly though, he was a swan he just did not know it.
The love it will prevail eventually, it has too. There are too many amazing people on this one in a million billion lucky planet of ours.
I’m not religious.
I don’t believe in creation.
I believe in evolution and the big bang.
With that said I wont hate you for your different beliefs.
You see my parents played music and showed us how to be good humans. That’s what mankind seems to do. We convey lessons through stories and music. The cave-people drew pictures on their stone walls, the Australian Aborigines pass stories down from generation to generation.
Its the essence of humanity. We are conscious for a reason, to teach and to grow, to nurture our young so they grow up believing they can be swans. Swans can co exist with other species, ducks, geese, turtles. Yet we are the one species.
Doesn’t it always go back to the children? The custodians of our planet. They say from space we realise how insignificant we are, a blip on the horizon of the billions upon billions of stars. But what if that just proves or stupendous significance. A little blue planet with a chance in a million billion of being in existence.