Why do we gather? Priya Parker asks this question as she begins her book, The Art of Gathering. One of her answers in to welcome.

I realize as 2021 gets ready to turn its page and begin a new chapter, I have two special gatherings planned.

My first one is in Toulouse, France. Toulouse is known as the “Pink City” due to its century-old terra cotta bricks, It will be my first visit and I am imagining enjoying my breakfast of a croissant and tea in the hotel coffee shop. Then I’ll pull on my overcoat and head out to meet up with my daughter Anne and her partner, Remi. As I meet him for the first time in person, they will introduce me to their city. I am so looking forward to this December gathering.

Twenty years ago, during the month of August my husband and I explored Spain with our two girls. One evening as the sun was starting to set in Barcelona, we strolled the busy Ramblas, stopping to view the the movements of the mimes. I insisted that we touch the Mediterranean Sea and the girls raced ahead to the water’s edge. Then Brian arranged us by height and suggested we pose with our hands on our hips and snapped our photo. Maybe then we should have realized that at least one of our daughters would return to this region. Anne is only four hours to the north, teaching, exploring with Remi and caring for their new cat, Rajah! Come December, I’ll gather with them in Toulouse.

Five months later, I’ll gather in Savahana, Georgia. Know for its cobblestone squares and Spanish moss-covered oak trees. On May 1st, my oldest, Bridgit, will stand under one such tree and agree to be united with her partner, Charlie with all her family and frieds gathered.

Gatherings. I will admit, I’m a little out of practice thanks to Covid. However, I am feeling grateful my girls are giving me wonderful reasons to gather again in the coming months.

Do YOU have any plans for gathering?!

I learned of Priya Parker her and her work while listening to this episode of On Being. I used this as a Quick Write during my October ELA Department Meeting.

7 thoughts on “Gatherings

  1. Lisa Keeler says:

    Oh how I love this post Sally. I am a huge fan of Priya Parker’s work. What wonderful gatherings you have to look forward to!
    Having discovered over a year ago that I had two full biological siblings, and having written to them early this summer, and having connected with them on screens several times, we met in person this past weekend. I wrote to Priya about planning that gathering- and she wrote back to me!


  2. margaretsmn says:

    Gatherings are happening again. We recently gathered to celebrate 3 artists in our community. It was weird. No masks, even.
    You seem to be in a beautiful place in your life welcoming in new family members. It is so rewarding when your children find someone who loves them like you do. Wonderful times ahead!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. franmcveigh says:

    Congratulations on your gatherings and your expanding family! What great settings for those gatherings. BTW, you are always welcoming . . . even when we haven’t gathered in person for awhile. Welcoming ideas, friends, and now, new family!


  4. Denise Krebs says:

    Sally, beautiful post. That photo of you and your girls 20 years ago is precious. I love that summary on your quick write card of all the reasons we gather. I’m going to be thinking about that some more this week, but in the meantime, I am in a season of gathering to say goodbye. It will be warm and wonderful to meet again after a long Covid spell, but bittersweet.


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