In this part of the universe, today is known as Family Day. As an aside, this being shortly after Valentine’s Day does bring some bemusement, but that’s not important right now. Call today’s story something of a reflection upon …
It was odd, when you thought about it: to mark a date on the calendar for family in the midst of winter, the depths of snow, wind, and cold,; to place a point in time where, if at all possible, one might suggest the myriad of those one called family to appear at one place, at one time.
Family wasn’t really a set time or place. In truth, it was more of a connection or feeling for one ebon-maned red-tail. That came mainly from her past, not having siblings to relate to or experience life with. With her parents long since called to Goddess, the connections with those whom she called family seemed to be ebbing away over time and space.
Her Eternal was with her, the start of what would become the family she had now. He’d explained that they were a family, a truth she understood. But it was the next thing he said that opened her eyes: “Family is who you love.”
Simple, isn’t it? Sharing your love, giving of yourself, accepting those you meet for who they are can make anything happen. It’s not done in the expectation of something being returned; there’s no take when such things are offered. It’s not a thing that has to happen; in truth, it is so very rare when a connection is made, when the family grows a little larger, when the love and hope shared gives rise to amazing things.
Being family means sharing the good and bad, the highs and lows. Not every day is sunshine. Many days there is rain or cold or snow with no end and only the hope brought from the ones you hold sees you through it all. Family is who loves you in return.
It’s hard to explain what it means to have family, the place inside of one’s soul where you keep a place for them all. Near or far, seen once in a blue moon or every day, they all are this red-tail’s family. She thinks of them often, wondering if they are well. if there is some good that they have encountered to brighten their surroundings.
There’s no greater love than that which family shares: the moments when we reach out through the ether, to speak words that matter, to share that intimate moment that only a family can know. Family is what matters.
While there is a day for family, it isn’t the be all and end all. Yes it has purpose, a meaning, a reason for being. This ebon-maned woman knows in truth this day but confirms what every day of the year is to her: a day to smile in the memories of her family; to remember those not seen for a time, but always in her thoughts; to see the family she can in their triumphs and joy, sharing in the delight they have found; and, most of all, to know her love has made a difference in ways she may never know for all of those she knows as her family, who cherish her as family of their own.
Because family matters, after all.