My father organized his voluminous slide collection (remember slides?) into categories of People, Places, Work. On Thanksgiving, we would look forward to a slide show after dinner, and never, ever did we as children, young or old, ask to see his record of Places or Work. Of course not. What matters is always . . .the people we have been and have become. Watching slides in the dark was a kind of life review - reminding me of my teenage brother in his Nehru jacket or my mother with a beehive or my father's hippie tie and sideburns. We laughed, we howled. We counted the days we had traveled, with gratitude.
Today, as I scroll through my digital photo files for this past year, I again feel a river of faces washing over me. There are many, a kaleidoscope of faces, each one a part of the light I have received, and together forming a pattern. Unique; breath-taking, really.
How can I move through this week without counting those faces in gratitude and wonder? How can I feast at a table with family without first acknowledging the cornucopia of friends, allies, advocates, mentors, and colleagues who have become my Ibu family?
I do so with humility - how can anyone be so lucky? I do so with love - how can I not? You and you and you are my People. My prism, through which light comes to me. You are the perk of my job.
So, tomorrow, I will sit down to a groaning table, like many of us will. But not before I take a long walk and think of the tribe to which I belong; the people who sustain and inspire me. I will turn that kaleidoscope over and over in the quiet light of morning, giving thanks for you.
Susan Hull Walker