Where does time go? A rhetorical question at best, time seems to continually increase its pace, gathering momentum as it passes on. As years go by certain things fade and others sharpen. In my shoddy history of time, I’ve let many important things fall to the wayside. Yet, as I grow and mature, certain threads once weaved out find their way back into the pattern that is my life.
The most significant thread that is constantly weaving itself into all sorts of objects is my family.
From birth, I was gifted with a loving home. As a baby in utero I was greatly adorned. Classical music, stories, and an clan of soon-to-be family members awaited my existence. When I was born, I was the center of attention and gained enormous amounts of love. I was never in need.
Mom and sister
As I grew older, I became more independent and other things became more important. Social, material, and behavioral complexities created a divide between my family and me. Our differences grew larger as I grew more distant, until finally I left home and all physical ties were cut.
This is the story of many people. A lot of teenagers and young adults are bursting at the seams, ready to rip off the stitches of their heritage. Fear, anger, distrust, and resentment are all plausible motifs. Yet, so are love, freedom, excitement, and curiosity. The list of reasons is not so important. Resolution is what counts. We cannot expect to change the future by reveling in the past.
In avoidance of a mini-autobiography, long story short my family and I have come great lengths to reknit our kindred quilt. What I have learned along the way—besides plenty of sewing metaphors—is that I am my family.
I wish I was as familiar with using these as I am with its metaphors.
Taken on a greater scale, family serves as the jumping point for a greater connection with all people. The purpose of family is to teach those in it how to love others. More specifically, how to see the other as you. As we mature and are sent off into the world, we extend our familial borders to all we meet. Eventually, one can extend this love into the infinite. In this way, family connects man to the universe.
There a myriad of other paths to learning about love, but none are as simplistic—when done correctly—as family. Think of it as learning a language. As a child progresses through the stages of development, it becomes increasingly harder to learn a new language. The same goes for the language of love.
Te Amo. Ngo oiy ney a. संस्कृत. ਤਾਜ. Mahal kita. Aishiteru. Je t’adore.
Composed of words, tenses, and structure, love, just like English, Spanish, Tagalog, and Cantonese, is a system of communication. It just so happens that what we are communicating with love is our identities, our truth, which also happens to be the same truth that exists in everything.
Even in dysfunctional families—one I certainly had a part in for many years—love is still being taught. Anyone who has ever hated their parents, understands that deep inside there is a primal need to repair the damage. Whether this need is conscious or not is a different story. Yet, each one of us wants to learn the language of love and family serves as the classroom to learn it in.
Let’s not forget dad.
Each year, I travel a long distance away from my family. Saying goodbye has become harder the more I recognize their importance, and truthfully its importance (because family is not just people, but a concept) in my life. And as I yearn to be with those I love more, I expand love to those I don’t know, extending my family. In this fashion, I hope to exist in a world of universal love, sleeping under the largest quilted blanket the universe has ever seen.