Grandparenting Across the Generations
When I was invited to write my contribution to Calling the Sacred Masculine, I immediately felt I wanted to write about my journey to be and become a Grandfather. I am blessed with three granddaughters and one grandson. Their arrival in my life coincided with the maturing of my own understanding of the Sacred Feminine and Sacred Masculine. I have had the time, space, and the commitment to bring the learning I gained from my training with the Origin Teachings of the Delicate Lodge to the territory of grandparenting. Over the last seven years, being a Grandfather has brought immense joy to my life.
My Experience of Being a Grandson
I feel lucky in that I knew both sets of my grandparents. I was close to my maternal grandparents because of geography and the relationship of my mother to her parents. I did have contact with my father’s parents, but it was less frequent.
My Nana and Granddad had a market garden farm at Throston near West Hartlepool, and I spent many happy days, and most of my holidays, there. I
I was given the freedom to roam on the farm, and I loved being with the animals. I have vivid memories of going out to the fields with my Granddad to gather the produce; he would speak to me about caring for the land and respecting the seasons. He taught me the old fashioned ways of planting and harvesting, a long, often slow, and weather dependent process. I appreciate how he brought
He was very caring towards me, and that memory of
Climb Upon My Knee, Sonny Boy - Al Jolson
Climb upon my knee, Sonny Boy,
Though you’re only three, Sonny Boy,
You’ve no way of knowing,
There’s no way of showing,
What you mean to me, Sonny Boy.
When there are grey skies,
I don’t mind the grey skies,
You make them blue, Sonny Boy.
Friends may forsake me,
Let them all forsake me,
I still have you, Sonny Boy.
What was very special to me was being with my grandfather as he farmed with the horses, to be behind the gentle undulation of the horses as they walked is a treasured memory. There was tranquillity to being with him and a pace to life that was unhurried. We would take the farm produce to town using horse and cart; the horse knew the way and
Within the family, there was a balance of the masculine and the feminine, and I so appreciate the strength of my grandmother. She birthed twelve children, of which eight survived to adulthood. The farm had no electricity or gas; so all the cooking was done on the coal fire or on
Granddad was the one who went out to work, and Nana supported him and looked after the family. There was an incredible routine around food, a big breakfast early in the morning to set us up for the day, and then at
I feel that my relationship with my grandparents gave me a solid grounding in, and understanding of family values that I hold to this day. To be in an environment where I was loved has given me role models that I regularly touch back into as I explore how I wish to be as a grandfather to my own grandchildren.
Learning From Conditional Love Within My Birth Family
My parents met each other when they were teenagers in the 1930s, but were apart for many years during World War II. ‘Dad’ was a pilot in the RAF, and ‘Mam’ was in the Army. They married in 1943, I was born in 1946, and my brother was born in 1951. My father joined the Police after the war, his career was mostly as a detective, and so he was not at home very much due to his dedication to his work. Consequently, I spent most of my time with my mother.
My perception of being parented by my mother was that she was very controlling and that her love was conditional on my
I don’t have many memories of my father being with me, playing with me, or taking me out. I look back, and I feel that I missed out on my father playing an active role in my development as a child. There was not a balanced feminine and masculine within my immediate family, I can now see the impact of the way that my Dad and Mam were as role models and how it affected my own development.
My apparent success in education and later at work came from a deeply ingrained pattern of controlling all aspects of my life. As a father, like my father, I adopted the role of breadwinner and was very focussed on
It was in
Encountering the Teachers from the Ehama Institute
It was at this time that I first met RainbowHawk and WindEagle and the Delicate Lodge Teachings. My first ceremony was very emotional; I experienced, once again, that feeling of unconditional love. It was like coming home. As we sat around the fire together, hearing the Earth Wisdom stories, this touched back into how I felt with my own grandparents. I was happy that I had found people that I wanted to journey with to deepen my understanding of consciousness and continues to heal my early life patterning.
The second Balquidder ceremony in 1996 was a celebration of the marriage of the Sacred Feminine and Sacred Masculine through the blessing of Ann StarSong and my impending wedding. It was a beautiful and timeless experience for all of us who attended. To deeply touch into the dance of these two primordial energies, to see, and experience, the equal but different roles grounded in love was transformational for me.
As I became more conscious, I had the growing ability
Myself as a Grandfather Now
What the Teachings gave me was a balanced way to approach being a Grandfather and with the understanding of the being and becoming energies to have a strategy to approach these new relationships. Eight Medicine woman
• The silence from which sound rises
• The stillness from which movement dances.
• The qualities of the Sacred Masculine flowing from the void of the Sacred Feminine out into life.
I am 72 years old, and my first grandchild arrived when I was 65, it was relatively late in life when I became a Grandfather. I was well into my learning journey with the Earth Wisdom Teaching, and I felt prepared for this adventure. It was an exciting but anxious time in some respects with my daughters going through the pregnancy and birthing the new life. There
I have an awareness and clarity that I need to be aligned to the parents’ way of doing things and to respect this. Being older and retired, I have had the time to be supportive and unconditionally loving. Through a series of Vision Quests, the healing and balancing brought me into a greater understanding of what love truly is and that I am able ‘to love and be love’ in a more profound way than before.
Some primary themes in thinking about myself as a grandfather are firstly the constancy of being there for them and supporting them in a way that I was not always there for my daughters as they grew up. I am deliberately manifesting love with them and being alert to any of my old patterns of control trying to highjack my
It can sometimes be a bit of a rollercoaster, watching how the parents deal with things. I have developed an interest in personal wellbeing and a healthy lifestyle, and I love to share this, but sometimes the parents have a different approach. I do not go against them, and I just try to influence gently. I do find it a little challenging sometimes when I have a different viewpoint, but I respect that they are the parents, and my role is to love unconditionally.
As a male role model in their lives, I am conscious of the Teachings I have received on the role of the Feminine and the Masculine, where the women hold the
I don’t wish to get in the way of the youngsters’ life experiences. If I accept the teaching that we are all
I want to just be with these little ones, listening, rather than letting any of my old controlling aspirations take over. I have great joy in experiencing their love of me. I often smile at their desire to control me, even at such an early age. This is when just being with them is such a great gift in my life.
I have spoken.
My journey parallels Ann StarSong who is my wife and soul-mate. 1996 was also my first introduction to the Teachings at Balquidder, Scotland. The following two years I was part of a circle of people who supported the Ehama ‘tribe’ returning to the UK. I was gifted to be part of the first CGT
My work in large
As part of my give-back to Life, I decided to support
I am involved in the