The Farmer

Daddy grew up a farmer. Even though he migrated to the big city in his late teens to find work, he always enjoyed the fruits and labor of the land.

During my childhood, Daddy was a teacher during the week, and a farmer on the weekends. He instructed me in the outward practices and tools of gardening.

What I did not realize at the time was his installation of precious internal lessons as well. The important concepts of planning, preparation, responsibility, patience, and the miracle of life.

The Flower

Every year, Daddy planted Zinnias in the three planters in the front of our house. Daddy liked the bright, multicolored flowers. They were hardy flowers with a long growing season.

The Father

Come to think of it, Zinnias remind me a lot of Daddy’s character. Sturdy and resilient. Zinnias can weather mistakes, such as overwatering and underwatering, or a brisk wind. When Daddy did not get that promotion or if a business idea tanked, he was able to pivot, move on, and keep going.

Zinnias are a no-frills, temperate flower, without a need to be pampered, happily showing their bright colors when you came home every day. Daddy was a common, no-frills, agreeable kind of guy. He was consistently there for me. Daddy was not showy, but he was brightly colored in spirit.

Zinnias. Daddy. They’ve gone hand-in-hand for years.