As kids, over the Christmas holidays, all of us cousins would head to grandpa’s home. With 13 grandkids, and 16 years separating the eldest from youngest, it was predictable bedlam. Good times. Year after year.
Until we grew up, one by one. Moved apart. Had our own families. And lives.
This afternoon, by a very strange and providential coincidence, 6 of us met over lunch.
One cousin had come from Australia, another from the U.A.E. My sister had traveled 300 miles to be there. And a dear childhood friend, one whom we had all lost track of for the better part of a decade, was there too.
Most of us brought our kids. It was the first time they were all meeting at the same time.
Life had happened in the intervening years. Two of the six were divorced. One was already a grandmother. For a few hours this afternoon, we were all children once more.
We excitedly relived the happy, halcyon, carefree days of our childhood and youth. Like wine, the memories had grown richer with age. Recollecting our shared escapades and antics was soul-nourishing.
My face hurt with all the laughing and smiling!
On the verge of a new year, as I look with hope and anticipation to the challenges and excitement of the next twelve months, I cannot help but realize how where I come from has influenced where I’m going.
Keeping in touch with our roots, our past, is such a critical component of our growth and development in the future… because it impacts, affects and influences a lot of what we do every day.
The trick is to nurture our past, without being trapped in it.
Happy New Year.