The Joy of Effortless Affection

Jamaica holiday, right now.

These are three of my grandchildren.  All teenagers.  Two sisters.  Three cousins.  Each is a child of the heart of a lovely configuration of devoted adults.

They’ve known each other their whole lives, though they meet as a trio only a few times a year.  Nothing diminishes their acceptance of one another, their love, their trust, their teasing.  Whatever they might hide at this point in their life just doesn’t matter.  When together they exude that rarest and most precious of energies.  Joy.  It’s infectious.

I, for one, am transformed by it––the rarity of something that captures the spirit of the universe as it lives in me: playful, loving, deep.

They also know, and are actually able to articulate in their youthful way, that their distinct bond represents a seed.  That seed, how it’s nurtured, will shape their entire lives.  Including the tenor of what they will consider family.

They are well aware of how inexplicably relationships can fall apart.  Fortunately, in their extended family are dramatic examples of lives grounded in fear as well as lives grounded in love.  Not every family has the latter.

What’s especially beautiful to me is that the effortless affection they have for one another today, regardless of whether they are able to sustain its purity against the ravages of simply being human, will, at the very least, remain somewhere tucked in their heart––and be available always to teach them.


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"I honor that we are killing the earth for the same reason I consider being an alcoholic a privilege: it is a doorway to the profound self-understanding required to make truly healthy choices."

The Essay: Honoring the Killing of the Earth