Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Family Reunions

We just had a family reunion. It's an interesting concept. A bunch of people gathering due to their linked bloodlines. I'd arrived by train the day before the event, looking forward to seeing my cousins, aunts and uncles who I haven't seen in years. Instead, I spoke mostly with people I barely knew and will probably never see again.

It was nice. But.

I guess I think that we are all interrelated if you look back far enough. So why do we bother to gather with a bunch of long-lost relatives and try to make relationships that will probably never exist? It's not like I personally need to find more friends or more people who are like me. But maybe others do.


Scott said...

I guess, to a degree, I can see your point. Sometimes, I find reunions a little forced ... but I don't think they are trivial. Families aren't artificial constructs. Even in fairly extended families, you have a group of people who have keenly shared histories: religion, national heritage, genetic heritage, and emotional bonds.

It's the last thing that, I think, made the reunion such a useful and meaningful event. I saw person after person who had lost personal connections w/ family -- cousins, fathers, grandfathers - remake those connections. I imagine if I were to loose my relationship with you for 40 years, it wouldn't be a transient moment to be reconnected. It would be joyful and something that I would look to persist.

Personally, I found great richness in seeing my cousins and their kids. That's what I was there for and I drank of it heavily. Life is busy and I don't get to enjoy that kind of thing often enough. Reunions surely beat funerals for that kind of thing. I had a great time and look forward to doing it again.

sara said...

I do agree with you on the actual "reunion" part. I really enjoyed seeing my relatives who I haven't seen in a while. And if it were the case of not seeing someone in 40 years, it would be different. Perhaps I am just not far enough along in life to truly appreciate a family reunion. Or perhaps I've had too many other reunions in the previous month. I might also have a different feeling in another 20-30 years. I do love seeing you guys. That's why I came back to North Dakota.