“The sense of family comes from the commitment we make to each other; to work through the hard times so we can enjoy the good ones. It comes from the love that binds us. That’s what makes us a family.” Two current stories in the news; first meet Zach Wahls [of the quote above] from Iowa and a college student, Eagle scout, outstanding speaker, motivated citizen and proud son and brother, proud of his family.

What I can’t give you in my writing is the intensity and the emphasis he places on words and phrases when he speaks. You need to see, hear him speak. This young man is amazing; self-possessed, intelligent, articulate, caring, a mensch among men.

The second story of interest to me is about college graduate Marina Keegan who died recently in a car accident and only a few days after graduating college. She had a writing career both behind and in front of her. In an essay; The Opposite of Loneliness, she refers to the comradeship in college life; “…it’s just this feeling that there are people, an abundance of people, who are in this together. Who are on your team.”

Keegan’s voice reminds me of poet Mary Oliver who wrote; Song of the Builders.

On a summer morning I sat down on a hillside to think about God –
a worthy pastime. Near me, I saw a single cricket; it was moving the grains of the hillside
this way and that way. How great was its energy, how humble its effort. Let us hope
it will always be like this, each of us going on in our inexplicable ways building the universe.

I’m attempting-here- to weave together family with living our lives with purpose and play, with loving-kindness and dignity. I am proud of the family I co-created; my children, their choices, their partners, and their children. The family I was born into, I’m outside looking in.

I believe a family, like a weaving, depends on every thread woven into it. Every part to do its part. To uphold all the other elements while being what it is; a unique thread, a necessary thread for the weaving to be whole, satisfying, and strong. In the card I created, above, a collage is only as worthy as all its elements. Here there are; painting by my middle son, a fabulous quote by Mary Oliver [Tell me what it is you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?]. A postage stamp sent by an artist friend I met at a craft show, and a doodle I drew that seemed to embody; wild, crazy, and precious? Maybe. Most of all- the elements must work together to present harmony, cohesiveness, a joining- some would call the sum total of these; LOVE. Hmm… Below, the song played over and over by the guys on the other side of my wall at college.

I didn’t intend to weigh down this post with 2 videos, but they both seem necessary to help me in my quest to state how important family is to me- how much I need it- how much we all need/want/desire to be part of a tribe. May the force be with us, in our quest!