"We live in community, and we are created in community. We're created out of the unity of two people, and then we're made into a family. It's just inherent in who we are." --S. Stevens--
Yesterday was a day of community celebrations. My sister graduated with her Master's Degree--her parents, in-laws, siblings, husband, and half of her children there to show pride and love for her (most-recent) accomplishments. She leapt from a lucrative career, mid-stream, to pursue teaching (a true labor of love)--following her heart as it lead her towards education and a growing family. I kissed her when she came outside from the ceremony--full of inspired hope for the bright path my "big sister" continues to blaze for me.
I hope her two older children in attendance remember their mother's graduation as they start to shape their own futures now.
Here, the women of my family and I after my sister's luncheon, except for my two girls who were at still another family event. Though my words today are scattered--I want to say that I moved amid a community of people on this balmy January afternoon, carrying my saturated heart with me. I was aware of color, light, emotion--the texture of my father's cheek when I kissed him, the force of my brother's arm against my back, the sound of lovely J.'s laughter at lunch. I noticed the smile on my mother's face, watching her golden-haired child cross the stage in her cap and gown, the way my sister's husband held her in a congratulatory embrace. The energy radiating from her children...
From this event, to one with M.'s family where the scenario repeated itself with riotous laughter and antics of another community made family in my life. Once in a while, I notice how magical it all really is. Life--my life, isn't a fairy tale...not a Hollywood film of heady, intoxicated romance, intrigue, and perfect resolutions--the end. It is real--sometimes messy, sometimes quiet, broken, and ordinary. The second party ended, and I kissed a whole family goodbye--a family that didn't even exist for me once upon a time ago. A community that wouldn't have been if M. hadn't kissed me one snowy Winter night those years back...and so it is with each couple's story and, by extension, each family's.
Kisses are mysterious catalysts, setting whole life stories into motion by simple chance and heart-felt daring. Today, my words are smooth stones just skimming the surface of what I want to express...but maybe it's because I am feeling--not thinking. I am muted by a tired tranquility. A kiss, and everything shifted...
"How did it happen that their lips came together? How does it happen that birds sing, that snow melts, that the rose unfolds, that the dawn whitens behind the stark shapes of trees on the quivering summit of the hill?
A kiss...and all is said."
A day of random kisses...and my words skid away across the clear pool of water--another looking glass reflecting that elusive, inarticulate sky.