I was visiting the aquarium with assorted aunts, uncles, and cousins spanning three generations, and we moved through the space with a minimum of coordination. But we all had the same goals:
1. Enjoy the fish.
2. Be with each other.
3. Keep track of children.
4. Avoid toddler meltdowns at all costs.
Sometimes we were all together in a clump, showing each other the same thing. Sometimes, we were spread out into smaller clusters. At the end, we left the aquarium, as we had arrived, in small, nuclear-family groups.
This evening we sat around looking at old family photos. Over and over again, we collectively marveled at how much we all look like each other, each of us resembling different others of us at different times in our lives.
Most of the time, we are fragmented into clusters by geography and the quotidian demands of our individual lives. Every once in a while, though, we gather, and there is some critical mass of natural law that helps us hang together.
|Photo courtesy of Alison Griffin.|
In those brief moments, we are a glorious school of fish dancing individually together.