Saturday, February 16, 2008
A family is a thing that evolves. I'll start with the losing part. I try to conjure images of of time spent with my grandparents, now gone, and it is easy as some of those times, so rich and vivid, fuel my aspiration to create space in my life for events that replicate the good feelings. I have written of the loss of a Brother and will some day write of the loss of my Dad and another Brother. Actually, I have written of those losses but have not found a way or reason to share it yet. But a wonderful thing about family is that, if you are lucky, it is a living thing that changes and grows. Here is a picture of part of my evolving family. You see my daughter, Stephanie, sustainability professional, and her high energy fiance, Matt. He's a social worker and a martial arts expert. I like that combination. He makes a living providing assistance to folks who have been swatted down by the system and/or their own dysfunctional decisions but also has the competence to fend off a gratuitous attack. People are safer when he's around. You also see Casey, our Benji-looking mutt, who has the amazing skill and talent necessary to train a couple of adults, me and my wife, Linda, to look after his every need. He's a good dog and his pack instincts make him an integral part of the family. Whenever we bring him along to a family event, he races around the array of humans to greet those he knows and to test the bonding possibilities of the less familiar. There's a lesson there. He recognizes the immense value of a pack (family).