We are a huge, loving, loud, wonderful family that envelopes our loved ones like a cloud and this trip felt even more like a fairy tale because my grandmother's entire family came to our town the last long weekend of my trip for a family reunion.
It is unbelievable what the love between just two people can create. My great grandma Pearl fell in love with the man who would be the father of her children, the topic of her poems, the bringer of flowers to her kitchen, and the arms she fell into in photo after photo in my childhood.
That love created four sisters and a massive, jolly brother, who went on to have families of their own, who went on to have families of their own.
I found myself wandering around the sunset lit fields of Pearl's youngest daughter's beautiful home asking children, "And who are your parents?" It has been so long and they are so big now. I would look up into the trees and find even more little rascals literally swinging from the branches, becoming to their brothers, sisters, and cousins, to come and populate the largest tree on the property.
Later, my grandma and her sisters adorned the little ones with glow stick bracelets, necklaces, and belts, and they flew around the yard and in wagons across the long paved drive like a futuristic parade and I thought then, they are the future. How funny. They are the future of our family and they know only the joy and silliness of youth.
As many of you know, Nick & I had decided to start trying for our own child at the last big family reunion five short years ago. I held a chubby baby in my arms and looked up at my husband and he nodded his head. That was it. We knew.
But that wasn't meant to be, not yet at least. Here we were, half a decade later, snuggling new little ones on our laps & listening to their tiny snores & toots & laughing with their parents and wondering how it is possible to love a dream with all your heart for so long and see none of it come true.
It is not for us to know. And after this past weekend I don't mind not knowing. I feel the huge love of our ever growing family, scheming about ways to live even closer to the ones we love, and I worry less and less about whether the children at the next reunion will be ours. They are all ours, just as I once (and still) belonged to my grandmother, her sisters, my dad, his cousins, my Auntie, and all the loving family at every reunion in my childhood, running free and wild among the towering adults who brushed their hands though my wild hair, snuck me treats from the snack tables, pulled me onto their laps to rock me and listen to my little snores, we all belong to each other.
And as I saw my cousin's little girl pull her feet up and coast on her bike sans-training wheels, my heart lept & skipped, and I wanted to cry because in that moment she was so strong, so wild, so free and silly and beautiful and so much a part of all of us. And I remembered her mother, beconing me into the taller branches of the trees, pulling my hand as we climbed higher and higher into the hills behind that same house and I felt so very young again and free of cares.
Today I hope you take a moment to meditate with your memories. Go somewhere that makes you feel young and wild and free of your cares. Let your body fade away and let your heart go to the ones you love. And remember that no matter how far you've wandered, there is always someone waiting for you when you are ready to return.
Lots of Love,