We recently took a road trip to visit family. We crossed several states to see grandchildren after a long stretch of absence this past year. I was giddy with anticipation as each mile marker whizzed by. We also had the privelege of stopping at a halfway mark going and coming and visited my husband’s cousins, aunts, and uncles.

Family time always reminds me that every culture has its own cryptic homilies about famiy: its necessity, its madness, its quagmires, its puzzlements, and its comforting succor.

Before our trip, I prayed that I would be a focused listener, offering that rarest of unequivocal concentration where others’ voices find a home in me and I in turn, find a home in them. This back-and-forth hallmark of intimacy is the craved-for and yet sometimes illusive ingredient in famiy get-togethers.

After this long stretch of COVID enforced isolation, I found that being around people sometimes unhinged me. I tend to vacillate between dread of gatherings and hankering for contact. And vacations are a hurdle because the essential calm of habit and ritual is disturbed.

Yet, this road trip proved me to be insanely wrong! The inter-connectedness of intimate family relationships, despite all controversies, fed our souls and reaffirmed our sense of inseparable belonging. We came home refreshed and validated. Yes, families are crazy, muddled, and controversial, but at the same time sane, grounding, and beloved.

How will you reach out to family today?

Children’s children are a crown to the aged and parents are the pride of their children.

Proverbs 17:6

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