Thursday, September 5, 2013

Glow Night

It started in the morning.  

"We're going to have Glow Night, right Aunt Suz??"

Then re-affirmed later on the beach, just for good measure... 

"Don't forget.  Tonight we have Glow Night."

And repeated many times down the dinner line while the kids filled their plates.   

"Glow Night. After dinner.  Once it's dark."

The tribe had spoken.

They had armed themselves at the end-of-season Dollar Store sale and they knew just what to do...



It's become a ritual that's as much a part of the end of Summer to these kids as buying back-to-school supplies.

And there's never a question whether everyone will participate.  

From the Littlest who leads with pink batons to the Biggest who knows he is never too old to glow...


They remind me of a book I once read, Tribes by Seth Godin.  

He said that a group only needs two things to be a tribe:  a shared interest and a way to communicate.  

These kids like to gather at the beach and they communicate through ritual.  

And together they marched the half a mile or so to the beach.


People noticed them along the way, smiled, and had to know more...


Somehow they knew that this pack of kids was up to something good...this tribe that ranges in age from 6 to 17.  

They had a purpose. They knew the drill.



There was a wonderful book published last year called The New Book of Family Traditions It's written by a lovely woman named Meg Cox whom I met through Allie Aller.

She has this to say about "ritual"...

Ritual in general, all the little and big things we do together as a family, works as a safety net, a security blanket, and an ongoing promise of protection.

Yes.

How beautifully said.

I had been searching for the right way to describe the importance of this yearly nocturnal observance and Meg nailed it.  

A safety net.  An ongoing promise of protection.  

It's what we all hope to create when we start a family.

And at some point, if we're lucky, the members of the family grow up and become torchbearers for the tribe.  

Lighting a path to safety for all those who come after...


They're only glow sticks from the dollar store.

But they become so much more in the dark as instruments of a ritual...


A ritual that includes love...


And a sense of place...

Ocean City, MD

And a sense of belonging.

Where each individual is important to the group...


Rituals have a magic that keeps discord at bay.  It's amazing.

Sure, we've taught them to love each other and to gather together.

But they've decided to wrap themselves in a blanket and become a tribe.


And they glow.

21 comments:

Judy S. said...

You write the best posts, Susan! I love that your family has traditions, and yes, I agree, Meg Cox nailed it.
Thanks!

cucki said...

Wow so beautiful..I love it *•*
Hugs x

wendy said...

Love it! Memories to last a life time!! I love family traditions.

wendy said...

Love it! Memories to last a life time!! I love family traditions.

Vicky aka Stichr said...

I can just picture your calendar full of notes about all the "traditional" activities you have with all of your family!

Teresa said...

What a beautiful way to describe family traditions.
Gread pictures also.

Catherine said...

Love, love, love this!! I have come to look forward to seeing your family rituals probably as much as the kids look forward to participating in them!

FlowerLady Lorraine said...

What a treat to see this fantastic family ritual of yours once again. It gets better every year. The photos are wonderful.

Love and hugs to all of you ~ FlowerLady

Marsha said...

So so cool in so many ways. Love it all!

margaret said...

always when your family get together you have something wonderful to share with us and this is no exception, wonderful and the glow really glows

Rachel said...

What a fabulous group of kids you have in your family - learning so much, and inadvertantly teaching so much, about the importance of connections and rituals in all our lives.

gracie said...

Wish I was there! You are the best! Thank you for taking me along through the pictures....

dreaminginstitches said...

In the weird way that Blogland works, I just found your blog while doing a little Blogroll peeping - and I'm so pleased I did - what a wonderful spirit of joy and enthusiasm permeates your work and your posts! I'll be following you from the UK on Bloglovin. Anny x

Mosaic Magpie said...

What a post....makes me wish for a glow night here!
xo,
Deb

etbrodelepapillon said...

Who would not be a member of your family? If I could vote for the minister of education, you'll be my choice.

Createology said...

With tears of joy I love your tribe and its annual Glow Night! Such an inspiration dear...

Allison Aller said...

So beautiful, Susan.

Ati Ham Sas said...

so peaceful and safe to belong to a "tribe "like this. Enjoy!
Thanks for publishing :)

Carol- Beads and Birds said...

I always look forward to your family tradition posts. I love how your traditions have taught each one of them to express themselves, created a wonderful cousins web, and allow them to open themselves and allow the world to see who they are. Most of all they take a part of you wherever they go for as long as they live.

Its a great post and a strong safety net that you have helped to create.

Much love,
Carol

Sheila Iskin said...

This is so neat! :)

coral-seas said...

Reading about you tribe always makes my heart glow :-)

Related Posts with Thumbnails