Even Father’s Day Happens While on Vacation

I don’t know why I’d think it wouldn’t. I guess being out of my element (well, actually very *in* my element) made me think today would feel different in Maui. Maybe less sad.

IMG_20130616_095759My lone morning swim at Kahana Beach was tear-filled and poignant as I watched fathers and their kids playing in the waves and sand. I let my tears join the salty Pacific healing solution. I tried to calm my grief by saying to myself, It’s been almost five years, Courtney, aren’t you done with this yet? Then another voice inside me arrived quickly to rescue my uncompassionate question: It’s never done, Courtney. You will always miss him. Then I dove down into the clear water to retrieve a piece of white coral that looked a little mangled, tousled, and chipped. But it was so beautifully imperfect.

IMG_20130616_155742I tossed the piece of coral to my towel up on the beach and kept swimming, adding more saline to the ocean. I swam hard for a while, using my the strong muscles I inherited from my dad. And then I wrote the word dad in the sand and watched the waves wash the name away, feeling the impermanence of life.


But I also felt the power of everythingness, of oneness. In 2009 my mom and I spread my dad’s ashes here in the Pacific off of Maui. When I saw “dad” become part of the ocean, I realized that he was already there. And more than that, that he was already inside me, a light there, a warmth, an embrace of okayness — my invincible summer, always my invincible summer.



About Courtney Putnam

I first came to healing work through art and writing. Creating collage art and poetry in particular allowed me to deeply understand the benefit of self-expression in the healing process. But, I also began to see the benefit of bodywork (manual work in the form of massage and energywork in the form of Reiki) as keys to unlocking the emotional stresses we hold in our bodies. I became a Reiki practitioner in 2002, received an MFA in Creative Writing in 2003, received my massage license in the spring of 2006, and became a Reiki Master in 2010. In my practice I bring together these three areas -- the body, the mind, and the spirit (or energy body) -- so others may experience profound and positive change in their lives.
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