Yesterday, we attended a family reunion. My generation are now the elders of the family – some of us are grandparents. As the family continues to grow, it has also become more widespread, making it difficult for the younger generation who are busy with their babies and jobs to attend family gatherings. We shared photos of our childhoods, children and grandbabies. Some of our children attended the reunion and heard our stories. Our parents’ histories, our shared childhood experiences and our changing perceptions as we become the elders are all part of the richness of our heritage and the tapestry of our lives. Coming together to share the bounty of a shared history is important.
Another kind of bounty was in the kitchen. Everyone brought food to share, and gathering around the table to talk, eat and laugh was the heart of the gathering. We brought salmon that Robert had smoked – which resulted in many fishing stories from our childhoods. More bounty came from my garden. A bag of artichokes, summer squash, beets, beans, rutabaga and blueberries was shared with my cousins. Feeding my family is deeply satisfying, and members of the family who don’t have gardens are appreciative of fresh, organic vegetables. Grown and shared with love.
I also arrived at the reunion with some weaving to give away. As I practice and develop my weaving skills, I have a lot of woven items piling up. So, my cousin who hosted the reunion was given first choice, and two other cousins received hand woven tea towels. Made and shared with love.
Our son’s partner is interested in learning to preserve food. We spent a day together making jam and chutney, and finishing her first weaving project. Sharing my knowledge and skills is also deeply satisfying, and passing on the wisdom of weaving and preserving food is part of the process of developing shared experience and ensuring the continuation of traditional skills. A shared bounty of knowledge and experience will be my legacy.
Most of us have more than we need – more stuff, more zucchini, more canning jars, more yarn, more something. A lifetime of stories, photos, knowledge and experience. Share your bounty. Extend your family. Come together to deepen your connections. We are all so rich…