Saturday, November 29, 2008

Thanksgiving is Over

Thanksgiving is Over . . . or is It?
So, we gathered together, all 23 of us, to celebrate the plenty in our lives. In my growing up years, a family gathering might include six or seven people, never more. Now, having moved around the country and globe, and finally settling here in North Carolina, our extended family has grown, and settled within hailing distance—from New York to Alabama. And we do come together now and again. Babies, old people, and lots in between.
We gather together partly just to be together. But we also have to celebrate the goodness in our collective lives, and the soon to arrive addition to the family—another beautiful soul to join our ranks. Happily, these gatherings are without the family battles that often characterize large families. We don’t all think alike, but that seems to be ok. I guess it’s a sign of health that we are able to tolerate each other’s quirks, and beliefs, mainly because we love one another, and we have this family tie thing. We have some history together, and when we recount some of that history—tales told over and over—everyone laughs, or groans. We also note during our gatherings the missing ones—some now gone from this earth, others just residing in different places around the globe, but all still remembered. The missing are part of our gathering, in spirit if not physical presence.
So, we gathered, and then in an instant, we dispersed, scattered again to places near and far. But we all left behind within each person, a small memory fragment, of good times, and shared emotions. It is the memory fragments that provide the ties that bind, to be renewed at each similar gathering. The ties are strengthened, the extended family grows slightly, and we become, like another universe, spinning around one another.
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