The circle is a symbol we can all identify with, an infinitely wise geometric shape.
The heart, a blood-pumping-organ that circulates oxygen and blood through our veins.
The sun, which chases the moon through the night sky, dashing across the universe
And pulling the tides of the sea inhale, exhale.
A ship, sailing the seas, circumnavigating the globe.
Through turbulent waters and calm ones he sailed.
My father, the seafarer.
Some of my earliest memories of my father were imaginations, ruminations.
I sat spinning my globe ’round and round tracing an outline with my delicate pointer finger
Across mountains and seas, desserts and rain forests,
Metropolitan cities and rivers and valleys.
“Where’s Daddy?” Mommy would ask.
“Bangladesh,” or “Cape Town,” or “Diego Garcia,” I would reply, pinpointing his location with my finger.
I imagined him on his ship, the master of the seas.
“Daddy always comes home” Mommy would tell me.
And he always did.
It was hard for all of us to function as a family unit sans the captain of our household.
But his first mate and crew managed.
Our hearts were full of joy when Dad came and grief when he left.
And even as we grew older and more accustomed, it never became easier.
Birthdays were missed, Christmases too.
But as Dad sailed he circumnavigated our hearts.
Because it was love for his family that sent him back to the open seas each time.
Don’t be fooled, Dad. This love is not unrequited nor unappreciated.
And it’s this very love, which has had a profound effect on my life.
Sometimes the effects were as indirect as the passage around the Cape of Good Hope,
But they remain a part of me nonetheless.
I too became a traveler, and as the wanderlust surged and swelled within me like a storm raging in the Atlantic, I set off, like my father, to chart my own course.
I wanted to see the world just like my Dad.
I wanted my passport to be as full and diverse as his.
And most of all I wanted to explore borders and push boundaries.
I wanted to open myself up the world and let my heart soar to heights as high as Kilimanjaro and plunge as low as the ocean’s floor.
From home, my parents worried. But they were steadfast in their love and support.
And what I’ve learned is that no matter how many times we complete a circle, we are infinitely traveling towards home.
Towards the center of our hearts,
And into the arms of those who love us most.
My passport is now filled with stamps, but the most important stamp of all is the influence you’ve had on my life over the past 24 years. Thank you for your love that knows no borders.
And remember, I, too, always come home.
Happy Father’s Day!