Sunday, August 21, 2011


     When a family comes together, there is a certain dynamic in play. It matters not which family, where it is geographically, in what age or how many people are involved. It is a study in human nature, in what matters dearly, in a species' survival.
Perhaps on my street in Blauvelt, N.Y., yesterday, there were several homes where families were gathered -- parents, young or grown children, in-laws, grandparents, uncles, cousins, whomever. Food was prepared, conversations had, kids watched super hero movies, memories were repeated. There was laughter, maybe an inward tear on recalling a now absent loved one. The cook was rushing about, assisted by the minor cooks -- but there was just one cook, of course.
Later, after hours spent in a busy pace not normal to the household, this family member and that left as the great cleanup progressed, with help at first and then the entire scene was left to the two or so people who really live in the house. Cleanup takes a long time, for it is not just the putting away of plates and silverware and the floor sweeping, but the arrangement again of one’s home, where routine is cherished. Routine is always interrupted by company, thank goodness, but it must be returned. It must.
In all, a warmness to any of the visits on my street, including in my own home where family gathered yesterday as my father in law had his 98th birthday. There was  electricity or at least the steady current that makes life worth living. The few hours were well enjoyed.
But we all cherish our quiet, so while we  are happy to see company arrive, we are also pleased to see them go. As they are when we visit their homes and also take leave at some point. That is the price of bonding, one gladly paid to enjoy a family gathering as well as the comfort of kin  when we are not together.

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