Updated: 4 days ago
It was Saturday morning and I’d started the long drive from Lake Mac to Shepparton (Victoria), with my uncle and my mum. We were on the way to my Uncle Bob’s 90th birthday party.
When we first discussed doing this drive, I remember feeling anxious and very “I can’t be bothered”- but I knew it was important to my mum. “Besides”, I thought, “I can get lots of work done over the weekend while I’m child-free.”
Driving along, I listened to mum and her brother telling stories from their childhood. During those 10 hours, I was blessed with hearing the rich history of my maternal family. Arriving in Shepparton, we were welcomed by my beautiful aunty and some cousins that I haven’t seen for over two decades.
The following morning, my mum woke up, grumbling about my aunty “lying” about our motel not serving breakfast, just so we would have to go to her house to eat. I suggested to my mum that perhaps my aunty wanted to have as many meals as possible with her siblings – after all, how many more breakfasts might they have together? With those words, my mum’s demeanour changed, and we happily went off for breakfast with the family.
Having decided that I’d spend that Sunday morning working, breakfast changed that for me too. Reconnecting with family was so much more important. I started drawing the family tree and writing down the stories I was hearing. That afternoon, 120 people got together to celebrate 90 years of a strong, wonderful man, who had only retired from shearing at the age of 80!
The 10-hour drive home was filled with the warmth of the love from those beautiful connections. My experience of the world seemed brighter, I appreciated the beauty of my surroundings, creative ideas were bursting, and I felt huge love for my world and the people in it.
This year, instead of setting a whole lot of New Year’s resolutions that were destined for failure, I chose, instead, a focus word for the year. That word is CONNECTION.
Connection with myself, my family, my old and new friends. At the end of last year, I had realised that my world had become very small. Having two family members who prefer to “hermit” rather than socialise, I had found it easier to join them.