Monday, January 25, 2010

The Rope that Binds

This weekend our family was meeting for a reunion - family means ten adult children (some of us are in laws) and two parents. Included in the activities was a gathering time to share stories of family history Each person was asked to bring a small token to symbolize his/her story. My husband was in charge of this evening.

What Jim thought about doing was creating a line/thread/rope of connection, not only in an emotional sense, but a practical representation. He found a half inch rope about 25 feet long, which he brought along. One person took one end of the rope. Another person on the other side of the circle held the other end, thus the rope was suspended across the circle. One person told their story and put the symbol on the rope with a Christmas ornament attachment. Thinking of time constraints, Jim first thought that only the person on the other end of the rope would be allowed to comment on the story, but it turned out that comments were free for all and it worked fine. When a speaker was finished, the rope moved to the right at each end - a speaking end and a receiving end, until the rope made it all around the circle. By the end 14 little items dangled off the rope giving us reminders of the family stories.

This isn't a complicated or expensive activity. Hearing the stories would have been lovely. Having the visual rope to visualize the binding added an additional component. Seeing how the family members creatively brought their "ornaments" to the occasion was a fun addition. We hung the rope in an appropriate location at the parent's house so they could enjoy and relive the evening for as long as they wanted.

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