This is my favorite photo from our family reunion weekend on Pelee Island in Ontario. One night as the sun was setting our children and their cousins made their way down to the lake front to sit by a large inukshuk someone had built. Watching them silhouetted against the sinking sun I got kind of nostalgic and sad. I remembered all the happy times these thirtysomething adults had as kids… playing together, celebrating holidays and having fun on their grandparents’ farm.
Their grandparents have died now, all these cousins have families of their own, and several live in other provinces, so it will be harder and harder to bring everyone together. Our reunion this summer was a whole year in the planning.
Later looking at this photo I thought of how lucky the Driedger cousins were to have been part of a family where they were loved so unconditionally by their grandparents and where aunts and uncles and cousins cared about them and were interested in them. One of the purposes of inukshuks is to act as direction markers so people can find their way. They are like northern compasses. I hope as our children look back on our many family gatherings over the years, they will have a sense that our time together served as a kind of marker or touchstone that helped them navigate through life.