Today is my daughter’s 5th birthday and, coincidently, her first day of kindergarten. A milestone day on two counts. Having just moved our family to the charming small town of Cumberland on Vancouver Island, it was natural for her to ride her bike to her first day of school. Mom went with her for an orientation day and I marked the milestone with an epic mountain bike ride over exquisite trails. I mostly just needed to clear my head after a big move and the echos of the infinite tangents my mind likes to follow. That I would go for a ride like this amidst the busy pressures of parenting and employment marks the milestone of what parenting has meant for me – an utter personal transformation. That my little girl, Indira Rain White,  is now five is hard to fathom really. Five years ago today my wife and I entered the labour process (I own my bystander role in child birth, but I was there) and our lives have changed forever. Coming from a rather self-indulgent life of rich growth experiences, I can truly say that nothing has been as transformative for me as the birth of little Indi Rain. Not the surreal entrails of a near death experience. Not dissolving myself through deep wilderness immersion. Not crisis nor opportunity, has touched my heart, mind, and soul like the birth of my first child. I believe that it has something to do with primal drives to propagate the species, and even more sophisticated motives like love and belonging. Parenting has brought all these things much more to the forefront for me. My role as a provider, protector, nourisher, coach, play mate, father, and friend makes each moment in life so much more meaningful. Today marks the five year anniversary of this personal awakening, as well as a day for pink cake, faerie dresses, and good friends.

Long into my mountain bike ride today, as the endorphins kicked in to bliss, it all washed over me. It does not get any better than this. That my 5 year old daughter, little Indi Rain, is a vessel of compassion, effervescent joy, and bountiful bliss is a mere reflection of the ever-present perfection that lies latent in us all. Happy birthday Indi Rain. Every moment I get to spend with you is full of fun, learning, and laughs. And I am thankful for this milestone day to reflect on my many reasons to rejoice.