A bit on family reunions

Here is the thing about family, Tiny Human:

There may appear to be too many people.
There may be too much putzing and stalling while assembling for group activities.
There may appear to be too much noise and too many conflicts.
There may be too many attempts at winning your affection or attention.

But there are never too many people in our family, and our is, in fact, quite small.
They are aging, Tiny Human. You do not yet understand what aging is. You know that there are big people and little people and some people in our family have funny, saggy skin but you do not yet grasp that those people, the same people that sit you down and talk to you for too long about things you do not understand, are slipping through your fingers.
I am not asking you to understand all of the stories. I am not asking you to hold a valid discussion with them.
But I want you to listen; I want you to absorb the gentle rhythm with which these stories are told. The words will ebb and flow over your mind like the waves in the lake we were at last week. Fishing stories. Travel stories. Stories of your mother and aunt when they were your age and oh, OH, you look so much like her.
Because it is not the words that you will latch on to; it is not the context of the stories that will stay with you for the rest of your life.
It is the sing-song melody that the words form as they flow into your precious little ear. You will remember these people as the keepers of the stories. The holders of our family.
When you are older, perhaps older than I am as I type this, you will be sitting with your cousins one breezy summer afternoon. Perhaps you will be in a cabin in Maine like we do so often; perhaps by a lake where the mournful loon cries float above your head like an evensong.
There will certainly be a glass of wine in your hand if you are any child of mine.
And you will tell stories that seem light-hearted and not important but one of you, perhaps you or an older cousin, will say a word in the same caliber as a loved one you once knew. The note will strike and your flesh will goosebump and you will all pause for a moment and remember the story keepers and realize that the sharing of stories is the real, true art and that
art
lives
through
you.

 

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