July 29, 2019
One beautiful spring day, I received a call from one of my granddaughters I had not seen for nearly 14 years. She was reaching out to me, her last living grandmother. She wanted to see me and get to know me more than from my website, Facebook, or my book, Yoga: Myth and Sacred Geometry.
It was a poignant conversation as Sadie caught me up on nearly 20 years of her life that led to our plan to meet. She wanted to see my other grandchildren, her cousins she remembered as a child. But when…and where? She lived near Eureka, in Northern California. And I lived in East Texas.
I called my daughter Andrea who lives near Sacramento and we arranged a date of July 20, which seemed a long way off, but with everyone’s busy schedule during the long hot summer, it was the only time that worked. When something is supposed to happen, it’s interesting how all the forces of nature seem to array to make it happen. Then the spirit of our coming together somehow caught the imagination of my five children and twelve grandchildren, and even MoMo (Kimora) my three-year-old great grandchild. Not all the older grandkids could make it, but they would be there in spirit
Finally, the day came after many texts, calls, and much planning. Our California family converged with children and grandchildren from the four directions. My daughter Erin, grandmother of MoMo, drove all night from Seattle with her half-brother from New Zealand, just to be with the family on this allotted day. Even the summer weather was cooler than normal.
Sadie was the polestar for us all to gather around, as we had not done for many years. Somehow, my two sons and three daughters just knew we were all to be together, busy or not. They answered the clarion call, and travelled from the Northwest, the California coast, and the foothills of the Sierra Nevada.
The night before the event, I could not sleep. I went into a deep meditative place to consciously hold each family in protection and prayer that they would arrive safely with as much eagerness to be together as I felt. My heart was so full of love and thanksgiving that we could at last, after many years, be together. I also held the vision that the day would be a magical kindling of new friendships and re-kindling of old familial relations.
There were 35 people that represented four generations from the elders, my husband Max, sister-in-law Vickie and my sister Susie. Our father had been an immigrant child from Lebanon and our mother was the descendent of parents from Norway. As a result, there were parents and children with dark and blond hair, blue, green, hazel, and dark brown eyes; cousins who looked nothing alike and children who looked more like their grandparents than their parent.
Erin, my daughter adopted at 18 months, now 52-years-old is a powerful mixture of an Irish, Scottish mother, and a Jamaican father. We were among the first families in the nation to adopt a racially mixed child, and even though she looked Jamaican, we named her Erin as a reminder of her Irish heritage. We rescued her from a foster home where she was not touched or held for the early months of her life. As an adult, for twenty years she owned a day-care center where she gave to children the love and caring she did not receive from the foster home in the early months of her life. Several years ago, Erin found her family of origin in New Zealand. Her biological half-brother Damian, born of a Jamaican father and a Maury mother, travelled with her to the gathering. Damian sat in one place throughout the entire day holding the space for the reunion, like a wise Maury elder. With great wisdom and compassion, he held the spiritual mantel over us all that day.
Erin’s son, Junior had grown into a tall and handsome young man who is a sports trainer for kids. He is healing them on many levels, by giving confidence and stability to their lives. Junior had won a full college scholarship through football and was now graduating into a new phase of his life. Some were entering into professions of teaching health, fitness and gymnastics, while others are in the culinary profession, or are contractors, and managers of organic farms, as well as hi-tech firms.
We toasted to the generations who went before and the new generations stepping into their place in the world, and the littlest ones, three-year-old MoMo and six-year-old fairy spirit, Isa. What a diverse group from all kinds of jobs and professional expertise!
My daughter Mira, who represented the health and healing professions of Yoga and Ayurveda was tethered to apron strings as she served aromatic lentils and brown rice to those daring to enter into the tasty labyrinth of healing through foods. There was so much that could go astray with a family of so many professions, religions, and political persuasions, but that day, all divisions and separative belief systems were transcended into an amazing field of love, and a joy of just Being together.
Aunts and uncles, parents and grandparents, first and second cousins, meeting for the first time, and not-so-first times, mingled and meshed in the home of my daughter Andrea and her husband Elio Angel. They were the angels that gave the gathering space by opening their home as well as their hearts to all those who entered the portals of their life.
When it was time to take the family picture, it seemed impossible to try to put the immediate families together so it was ordained that anyone could stand or sit anywhere they wanted. This was a wild array of a family, finding itself in the reflection of one another. The sun had long set before we said our goodbyes. I held each one in my arms with the hope that the field of love created that day would be taken with them into all corners of their lives and into the world.