On Saturday we went to the 65th birthday celebration of my husband's cousin-once-removed. It was a lovely setting at a lake, the food was good, and the turnout was great. But here's an interesting thing -- her father's side of the family, of no relation to us whatsoever, immediately felt like our own family. People we had never met before drew us in and made us feel welcome, greeted us like old acquaintances, and swapped family stories. By the end we were hugging and exchanging email addresses and pledging to help each other find photos and information on Ancestry.com. I genuinely liked these total strangers, and I hope I see them again.
Sometimes in life you meet people quite by accident and find yourself enriched by the experience. Your sense of connectedness expands. You catch glimpses of yourself as part of a larger network, a family of more global scope. I tend to be solitary by nature, but now and then it's nice to feel part of that larger community.
Happy birthday, Bev!