Yesterday was my grandfather’s birthday. I miss him, BUT I also smile with pride and gratitude. There are so many events this summer that my grandfather would have cared about. He fought for equality. He was a leader in his community and pushed those around him to be more inclusive. He fought for advancements in athletics and pushed the boundaries for those less represented. He would be sporting a World Cup USWNT jersey for sure! ★★★★ He would often challenge individuals to test the boundaries of their own athleticism. I remember a young man sharing with grandpa that he wished he could golf. Grandpa Clodfelter (everyone called him Cloddy) immediately responded with an “Of course you can! What’s stopping you?” The young man looked at his shoulder where he was missing an arm. As a young kid I remember thinking this was a legitimate concern. My grandpa, did not think this was a legitimate concern. He asked the young man to meet him at a field and tossed his golf clubs into his truck. Within a few hours the young man was hitting the ball and ready to head to the golf course. I walked tall around the university campus that my grandpa coached at knowing I was related him. When someone would realize who my grandpa was I got the same reaction every time. They would give me a big pat on the back and say with excitement “You’re one of Cloddy’s kids!” Grandpa gave me the gift of family pride and taught me the importance of community pride.
He accomplished great things in his life. His life helped change the course of history in some powerful ways, but what makes me teary when I think back on my time with him were the moments spent in his backyard and at his cabin in the summer. He would sit with me and tell me to listen for the birds. I remember quiet moments shared with him enjoying the wonder of nature...sunsets, flowers, wind, water, and birds. These were holy moments. Grandpa taught the power of sitting still and being aware. My favorite quote is
“Stillness is what creates love, movement is what creates life. To be still and still moving that is everything.” ~Do Hyun Choe
Grandpa was a mover and a shaker, but he knew how to be still. In fact, being still was so important to him that he took the time to instill its importance on me starting when I was very young. Being one of Cloddy’s kids means that I embody this balance of being a leader in my community helping us to push boundaries of what is possible while intentionally taking moments to sit quietly in nature.
We are in some magnificent nature months right now. We are also in some dynamic times as world citizens. I strongly encourage you consider a practice of “being still and still moving”. First, find a place to sit quietly (for longer than you think you can) no phone, no music, no talking and listen for the birds. Watch the wind and have a holy moment appreciating the nature around you. This is a space where love can grow. Second, find somewhere to actively engage or someone to walk beside and be an agent of positive change. This is where you will find life. Together these practices will allow you to “be still and still moving” and that is everything!