“When I was a little baby down in Georgia,
Wondered how my life went round!
Felt the sun shine down in Daddy’s Garden,
Had my both feet right on the ground!”
…a song I wrote 35 years ago. I had a persistent memory of a sunny spot in Daddy’s backyard flower garden. I would jump off a large rock in the middle as my Daddy held my hand! This was part of the ordinary wonder of the world and feeling loved as a child by him! Other than his job, everywhere Daddy went, I went: whether raking leaves, fishing, him tickling my back as we watched TV, rubbing my legs when they ached, teaching me to ride a bicycle, and yes, shoot a BB rifle!
At some point, I got too big for him to carry me or support me when I jumped off the rock, and when new things began happening in my body and mind, I became uncomfortable with the physical affection. I began to want to spend most of my time with friends or alone. Daddy’s garden felt gated to me. He died when I was 17 years old, before we had figured out how to have a different kind of relationship.
“Oh, my little darling, precious darling,
Oh, you were a big surprise!
Like a shooting star you came into my heart,
And brought your wonder to my eyes!”
…Another song, written for my own child! This time Daddy’s Garden became the garden I tried to tend for her! I took her for walks nearly every day, first strapped to my chest, then in a stroller, and then alongside her. We spent time in the woods, and she watched me grow flowers and shrubs and she attended Earth Centered rituals with me. There were stories and movies, seashores and mountains! This world with her was Wonder-full and Magickal!
There were also sorrows, tears, and fears, too, due to childhood migraines and other medical issues, divorce and custody conflicts. But she was and is always a Wonder being one of the lights of my world.
“I found my way back home to Daddy’s garden,
And put my both feet,
Right on the Ground!.”
Your daughter has come a long way in the light and warmth of your being her father. I hope she can and will continue to endure and even thrive on the level that weaves back into your garden, where she has firm footing.