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We’ve been holiday/party central for a few days here, and it’s not over yet. Even with deadly Omicron spreading its tentacles, it’s become one of those hooray times when you’re simultaneously exhausted and exuberant even with masks increasingly necessary (We thought that was tapering off, but oh no.). Contradictory emotions? Indeed. In Whitman’s words “Do I contradict myself? Then I contradict myself. I contain multitudes.” As do most of us.

Like many families in these days of rapid and frequent transport, ours is a multinational phenomenon. One branch resides at the moment in Papua New Guinea, where she is U.S. ambassador, her husband a webmaster who goes virtually everywhere, her daughter a student at William and Mary U.

Another branch is in Hawaii. The big island, where he works in a tennis/golf club while his wife manages property rentals. They (via her family) have some land and a farm.

A third group calls London home, though they in the past have, by virtue of his being engaged in international banking, lived in Tunisia, Mozambique, and some other location I disremember.

Makes me feel a bit stuck, since We’ve been pretty much right here for the last whenever. Thank goodness someone (guess who?) more or less stayed put. It gives a place for all those folks to call home amid their travels. We all tend to coalesce every two or three years, sometimes for an occasion, such as the ambassadorial swearing in, or a holiday, such as this year’s Christmas. Seems to just happen.

So far it’s been a pretty glorious time. Some families find such gatherings raise old and painful issues. We’re human. We have those, but none of them seem important enough to override the underlying camaraderie and affection.

There is an exception to the camaraderie and affection label. As I said, we are human. The one person who could be the fly that pollutes the ointment wasn’t here. Isn’t likely to be in the near future. In the meantime he has become a little like Voldemort, the one whose name isn’t mentioned. There will come a time, we trust, when that will change, but until then, the warmth we feel for one another rest of us have on another must be sufficient unto the day.

Onward into the rising light.

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