On the other side of the trees, it gets quiet after the kids have turned in for the night. I’ve had time to think about family; my immediate family and my family of origin.
“I don’t believe an accident of birth makes people sisters or brothers. It makes them siblings, gives them mutuality of parentage. Sisterhood and brotherhood is a condition people have to work at.”
“There is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.”
In our going, from here to there, we come out on the other side of difficult (putting it mildly?) relationships, and step into healthy relationships. Seasons of relational isolation may still come, that wrap around us like a heavy blanket; causing me to remember. Overshadowed by two older brothers, tolerated and managed by my parents, I was (am?) the “Black Sheep”. Over the years, there have been attempts to recapture those elusive years. We cannot always go back to repair the gaps that leave us with longings for significance and community.
Samuel Osherson’s book, “Finding Our Fathers”, provided some healing in the midst of grieving the loss of my father. Osherson wrote (paraphrased): “Some sons go through their lives searching for love and acceptance from their fathers … perpetually elusive. Men hope to find it in their work, relationships, or other areas … unable to find what they are looking for.” We must get past the losses; we must move on; embrace our significance that is within us.
Healing happens because of safe, powerful, beautiful, relationships: new brothers, new sisters, older individuals who, for a season, pour into my weathered soul. There is pain and betrayal; there are unsafe people. Thus, the risks we take. We are seasoned by both the good and the bad. Foggy mornings and moonless, starless, nights still happen, where relational isolation howls. We endure, with strength and faith; the fog will lift; the nights will not always be so dark. Authentic brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, play a profound role in our voyage.