The familiar and the familial


Bushman (and Grandmother)

The progeny of family's prodigious—twelve siblings on my mother's side, six on my father's—it should be of little surprise that I have a few stories "in-house", reflective musing on a random gathering of souls unwieldy and profuse. Catholic on both sides, the similarities between families end at Vatican II: my father, sole male bastion in a Canadian household of five sisters, became a Tai Chi instructor and studied meditation under an Indian guru; my mother, the only religious sibling of all twelve, narrowly dodged a New Zealand convent as a teenager, then embraced a very broad form of Christianity in later years, working overseas as a missionary and believing in reincarnation.

The first fruitful offering of family tree plagiarised and plundered is a tale of a mysterious uncle, a New Zealand bushman of wild habitation and reputation, whose sagely, intuitive advice proved to be presciently exact.

Read more: Things my Uncle taught me (with apologies to Sumangali for title brazenly lifted).