I wish you reunions

This is the penultimate post before the Passage closes, as usual, for July and August. This hiatus marks ten years and over 1, 200 posts.

That milestone is achieved on the currents of a past life. A few evenings ago, our sons (one is in the photo, at right) and we had a friend, Rob (at left) to our house for dinner. We have known him since daycare days.

Rob, Duchesse, and Jules

I could still see that wind-up-toy of a toddler in his face—and now, the young adult, focused, more serious.

We say, in later life, "the years just fell away", and "it was like we saw one another yesterday". Around our table, I saw the same connection.  Rob and our sons adopted an immediate shorthand, memories engaged at warp speed.

When does this begin? There has to be separation, a sense of movement, or it's just another hangout. And what is sweeter than meeting a friend after years apart and feeling that instant bond?

Rob spoke of another kind of reunion. During his childhood and adolescence, he spent every summer at his church's family camp. He's going back this summer, to lead a month-long canoe trip for a dozen fourteen-year-olds. He spoke of the upcoming trek with pride, both for his invitation and the tradition of the camp.

Reunions are especially satisfying when the family or friends accept both the person they knew and the person she has become. At the same time, boundaries are important. Every woman headed to a family reunion has given herself a lecture before arriving: don't get triggered by Larry's husband's jokes; don't let Anita burn the burgers yet another year; don't say one word about the political slogan on the t-shirt.

Some reunions are small-scale: three sisters triangulate a destination and jump on a discount flight, six university friends gather for a long weekend. All evoke good will. The hot water heater may go on the blink, rain may enforce a Scrabble marathon (often with missing tiles), but everyone gets along (or if not, someone goes for a long walk). I remember one family reunion when my lovesick 16-year-old niece agreed to make a cherry pie with me, and wept into the piecrust as we made those tricky lattices. Oh well, a little extra salt.

Love is the anchor and I have never felt its need more. This summer, may you reunite. We all need it, no matter what our age.

See your people, no matter where life has carried them: a cousin, a cherished colleague, the neighbour who years ago moved to a town you'll be visiting anyway. You may find yourself calling on someone to whom you were not especially close in the past, but you will find, in your shared roots, an affinity beyond words and time.

Laugh, accept, and ride the current. It's time; it's always time.




Comments

VC said…
Thank you for this post, and have a great summer.
Venasque said…
It's always time and then there's no more time. You are right.
Jean Shaw said…
Who knows where the time goes?

Thanks for the reminder.

Thank you. I found this particularly moving today, as we in the States are horrified by day after day of appalling political news. Where to find hope, kindness, love? I'm reminded to seek out a few reunions this summer.
Dulce Young said…
Thank you for all the posts (i read all of them) and have a joyful vacation. Reminds me of long postponed meeting with friends. Look forward to your coming back post. Very nice picture, by the way
KPD said…
I was a teacher for almost 45 years. When I meet a former student on the street sometimes it's difficult to identify the adult, but when I recognize them their adult face morphs into their little child face, and somehow their name pops up from out of oblivion. It is such an amazing experience. It is so nice to hear you talk of it.
LauraH said…
Ten years and 1,200 posts...what a wonderful accomplishment. You've given a lot to so many people...many many thanks for all your work and time and energy. Happy summer.
Yes, and especially beautiful writing, on a wide range of topics.
Alison Gunn said…
Such a wonderfully-written and even deeply spiritual blog. I've been reading post after post for days now, and feel as though a kindred Cancer crab soul has wandered over to my beach. Thanks for commemorating Anthony Bourdain's passing... another loss that feels a little too close to the bone. See you at the end of summer.

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