There were several things that struck me. They are:
1. I’m part of a greater root system. This isn’t a big revelation, exactly, but in the daily grind and the hurry and hassle of life, it’s easy to forget this. I find myself becoming far too wrapped up in what’s happening within my four walls. The choices I make today will have a lasting impact on future generations, just as the choices my ancestors made have impacted me.
2. Family traditions are important. Our traditions are not like yours, and yours are different from ours. The traditions that we cherish bind us together and make us unique. There’s the requisite auction, for instance, that we hold every time to put toward expenses for the next reunion. The talent show where talent isn’t an actual requirement, but family membership is. The two songs we sing together at the end of the whole thing, and the prayer that is offered before we leave. These are precious.
3. Reunions give me a very real sense of eternity. There are many faces missing, now, from the family circle. New ones are taking their place. One day, my face will be one of those missing. How I live now counts. It makes a difference.
It’s healthy to connect with extended family. There is a certain sense of security, of belonging, in seeing familiar faces again and being reminded of where you come from.
And that’s what I learned at the family reunion.