At holiday times, the absence of family is more acutely noticed. My own family is spread all over the world, which has been their pattern for many years. This Christmas photo was taken in Durban, South Africa by my father. Christmas in the southern hemisphere fell during my summer break from school, as did my January birthday. I distinctly remember this day when I posed in the park with my mother, Sandland brother and El Granjero, who was only a few months old. Dad had the camera on a tripod, and using the timed shutter feature, ran and took his place with the family. This picture would have been the only presence our family had in the homes of grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins as they celebrated Christmas in Canada. Our family continued to grow and two more brothers were born before I reached my 10th birthday. Having five children barely slowed my parents down at all, and we were all good travellers and good friends. (Well, most of the time!) I estimate that my parents were about 28 years old here...very young, but focused on their goals unlike many of the 20-some people I know today. I sometimes envy the close proximity that some families enjoy, and wish my children had grown up closer to all their cousins. We have been together as a complete group only two or three times in the past twenty years. On the other hand, we understand the great gulf between the rich and poor nations of the world and appreciated the high standard of living we enjoy in North America. Geography and history make a lot more sense when you have “been there”. And we all have the confidence and curiosity to explore new places.
The world has become much smaller. I remember the 28 day passage by boat from Durban to Montreal, most of it with no land in sight. Today we can be with the family, wherever they are, in less than a day. So to my family, immediate and extended, living in the Arabian Gulf, Spain, Canada, United States, Mexico, and wherever else you are presently travelling , Hello! I miss you! I love you!