I recently attended Joan’s family reunion held in the very small hamlet of Yahk, BC., located between Cranbrook and Creston on Highway 3. There I got to spend a couple of days with the inlaws. I had a wonderful time, particularly chatting with the elder generation. We looked at old photographs, and listened to old stories. We laughed a lot and cried a little. We got to know each other again. I’ve been married to my Joan for 28 years, and I think I love her and her family more and more as time goes on – crazy as that may sound.
The Yahk reunion gave me a lot to think about. Some of my thoughts are listed below in no particular order.
I thought about how the generations that have preceded us were different from us in only very minor ways. What was going through minds of the people in all those 0ld photos? What secrets do the photos capture? What hopes and dreams drove the people in those photos? What was the conversation that immediately preceded the formality of gathering for a photograph?
I thought about how as parents, we’re never really sure of what we should do. We do what we can and hope for the best. We hope our children will grow up to be happy, gentle-hearted, responsible and self-sufficient. We want them to contribute to society in a meaningful way – pay their taxes and look out for their neighbours, and we hope they’ll care to keep us in their lives. But we really don’t have much control over any of it.
I thought about how when you don’t have access to cel service or the internet, you tend to look into people’s eyes more when you talk to them.
I thought about how food is a benediction when a group of people prepare it and eat it together.
I thought about how much I admire the generations of mothers and fathers who have struggled, winning some, losing some.
I thought about how there is a story in every tree.
I thought about how when it’s hot out, the shade is where you want to be.
I thought about how volleyball is fun even when nobody is keeping score.
I thought about how short life is, and how wonderful it is.