The phrase ” throwing stones at cans on the beach ” has a big meaning for me, imprinted on me by my Dad. ‘Raymondo’, son of the ‘Gentle Breeze’, the ‘Carer’, and recently ‘Grey Mullet’ (he has many titles). That’s him with my mum above.
It has always been a bit of a nightmare to buy my Dad any kind of present, especially as he’s become older and time has passed us all by. When asked “What do you want for your birthday Dad?” he’s always been the “Just some time with my boys” or “The one thing I can’t have”, type. He means having time with me and my brother and having my mum well again after a stroke, all of which is difficult for one reason or another. So this year I’m writing this blog about him.
I have mentioned previously how having my Dad as my Dad was a big weight off; knowing that as proud as I want him to be of me, I would always be prouder of him. And my Mum for that matter. That made getting this far much easier for me. I bet he didn’t plan for his life to turn out the way it did, I don’t suppose any of us do. I believe that the universe does its thing and we just watch, and thankfully it gave Dad a job that he was strong enough to do. Many wouldn’t be. Dad is the carer to my mum who suffered a brain haemorrhage and works full time too, he also sorts everyone that crosses his path out with some manner of food goods (fresh bread or homemade soup usually).
He has always been the one to show me the way and be understanding when the path I walked taught me some hard lessons. Sit back and watch (and intervene just before I’m about to kill myself) seemed to be the tactic, it worked a treat.
Bring your kid to work day, sometime in the 80’s. Classic jumper and hair do.
These days I’m very much in to listening to the spiritual leaders of our time and of times gone by, seeing what lessons I can learn and how I can grow. Truth is, the best lessons I have ever learnt and still learn have come from my Dad, thanks Dad. If I were ever to have a tattoo it would say “throwing stones at cans on the beach”, which means the world to me so let me explain.
Dad would to take me and my brother to beaches in Wales all the time when we were younger. Looking for crabs under rocks, walking for miles on sand before the tide comes in, calling off at the ‘sheens’ (amusement arcade), and ultimately spend untold hours over the years throwing stones at cans on the beach. We’d find an old can, prop it up between some small rocks and launch many a stone at it. These stones got gradually bigger and bigger as time was running out so we’d get a hit! The most hits wins. Simple!
“These are the memories you need to keep my mate” – Dad
So what was the lesson?
The lesson was, and still is, the simple things in life make the best memories. I never did see it at the time. The can, the stones, all part of Dad’s way of teaching us the most important lessons. Dad would tell me all the time that you can’t get the time back and to cherish these memories and I kind of understood, but not until I got older did I really see what he meant. As it turns out my Dad has always been the inspiration and guru of all things meaningful for me this whole time. He’s been dishing out the spiritual enlightenment in his own way since the day I was born and it was me that didn’t have the open mindedness to see it. Thanks Dad for putting up with that and keeping the good advice coming until I finally figured it out.
My Dad’s Dad, that’s him asleep with a bird on this shoulder below, commonly known to the family as ‘Gentle Breeze’, which funnily enough was all it took to send him off to sleep, anywhere. A gentle soul who, as I look at it now, I think gave my Dad his view on life. Dad cared for him too in his last few years. He was someone who would spend time with me and my brother and just casually impart love, again I only see it looking back.
The Gentle Breeze, Kenneth Broughton, my Ampy. A fairly standard pose for him.
So What Now?
Well that’s easy. I have been given all the tools I need to make the world a slightly better place when I leave than when I entered. Thanks to Dad I’ve been receiving wisdom beyond my years since before I was able to understand, and now I see it I have a responsibility to carry that on. I think that’s what the great Dads do, they pass on what they’ve learnt, lead by example. They hope to see that they have made a difference to the world by bringing in and moulding their children. I hope he thinks he has.
I will never be as strong as my Dad, or have as much patience, but I will have as much love and the need to be a good person because that is what he has taught me. I started this blog to put down in writing my ‘spiritual journey’ (or whatever you want to call it) and I thought it started recently, but as it turns out it started by throwing stones at cans on the beach, many, many years a go, with a teacher I didn’t know I had and with wisdom I didn’t even see.
“You can’t get the time back matey” – Dad
“Thanks Dad” – Me
That is a small selection of photos of my Dad (and mum) at various points of being awesome. From tanned youth to grey (and hopefully proud) father. I urge you to throw stones at cans on the beach with your Dad, or Mum, or friends, parters, sons or daughters. I thank my Dad for teaching me all the things I would ever need to know and letting me realise it on my own in my own time. And he did it all with a can, and a stone, on a beach. Thanks Dad – I love you.
Realiser was born from me wanting to be in a realised state, a state of awaken, to be able to see the obvious having missed it for sooo many years. I wanted to create something to serve as an example of how it could be, maybe, if only we might spent the time meditating that we spent hating. Spend the time being kind to others for no reason, you get the idea. I will travel around doing what I can and would love for you to join me.