Friday, April 23, 2010

Boots at the door

There are many things that have been said over the years about "family", some positive, some not so.  In my experience, the one thing that can be said is that "family" is a multi-faceted organization with weird and wonderful nuances that add colour and complexity to our lives as human beings.  I have 2 brothers, and 4 sisters - I'm somewhere in the middle.  Recently, the first born, my brother Bill, has been working with me to help us with the evolution of an equine assisted "wellness" program as an extension to the human based "wellness" programs we offer at Ste. Anne's.  Bill has travelled and lived all over the world, but his most recent roots have been put down in Los Angeles.  Prior to working with me, Bill had a successful career making movies, so Los Angeles was probably the right place to be.  When Hollywood started to experience the meltdown that has undermined the very foundation of the U.S. economy, Bill started to look for other options to continue his personal growth and support his family.  For the past couple of weeks, Bill's wife Julie, and his children, Cole and Lauren (my youngest nieces and nephews), joined him here in Canada.  Because Bill and his family have lived abroad for the most part, I haven't had as much of an opportunity to get to know them.  This recent visit allowed us to start to build the foundation of a relationship.  Each day Cole and Lauren would help Bill with the horses and the cows (mostly an excuse to check up on the kittens) and experience "life on the farm".  For my part, I got to "hang" with Bill, Cole and Lauren most nights over dinner - we had a camp fire one night, and a visit to my "shack" another.  I know it was hard for Bill when his family returned to L.A., but I hope that not too much time will pass before they can be together again.  Seeing boots at the door, even when they have a little crust of mud or horse poop on them is strangely comforting.

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