The Flow, the Spirit, and the Teacher's Mantle

I got the call that every family tree keeper dreams about:

"Aunt Rachel, will you tell us about our family tree?"

I dropped everything and started shaping their particular branch of the family tree into a visual that would help my nieces understand their family through the last few hundred years.

It is no secret that I adore old photos, old stories, and the connections they reveal. I have learned that I am mostly German/English with the tiniest sliver of Cherokee (1/512 to be exact). It's even more illuminating to see how the patterns of world history related to my ancestors' immigration.

As I sifted through timelines and details, I pulled out a few individuals to highlight in our discussion.

I also put together a very "school-teachery" packet of all the printouts so they could have something to take home.

In trying to summarize the stories, I pulled out a common theme: people seeking religious freedom.

When I sat down with the girls, I showed them a zoomed out picture of all the people that came together at just the right time to lead to them.  With an arrow inserted at the time of the Civil War and the American Revolution to place their relatives in our country's history.

We talked about the Mennonites that stood against the Catholic Church and were expelled from country after country when they wouldn't agree to fight in wars. We tried to imagine together something that was so oppressive and important to them that they would pick up and move to a different land.

I also mentioned that when they were talking to their own nieces in 30 years they could mention all the sacrifices our ancestors made for their freedom.

Never before had I felt so distinctly the teacher's mantle come upon me. Ancestry research in general, and sharing my findings with others in particular put me right into the flow*, but this feeling was something greater than both those states of being.

It was the essence of my spirit and The Spirit singing the meaning of life. I envisioned an enormous wedge of family since the beginning of family, all pointing at my beautiful nieces. In the same breath I saw their own descendants stretching out infinitely from them. This meeting of two vast triangles come together at this moment in time.

Just like the lower chakras and the upper chakras can be represented as two triangles touching at their tips right at the heart center, or even as the Star of David (the poetic representation of our connection to God), these sweet children are the heart of our family right now.

Family is Now.

*The Flow - term coined by Mihaly Csikszentimihalyi referring to the state of being where time passes without notice because a person is so engrossed in their task


  1. Absolutely love this. Hugs Rachel

  2. Thank you! It was fun to see the connections and have proof that we are part of something bigger. Hugs to you!

  3. Malachi 4:5-6. And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers...


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