Why Gathering is so Important…

Dear Reader:

When I started getting ” Fall Ready” visually Tuesday afternoon ( upon my return from Tommy’s and Kaitlyn’s) -decorating my Happy Room was my first ” to do” item.

Normally I exchange wreaths for the mantle but something made me pause and reconsider what would be the central decor on the mantle backdrop. I went in my bedroom and ” gathered” up the large sign that spelled out GATHER.

I felt inclined this year to decorate a little differently… still lots of pumpkins and fall wreaths but with more emphasis on gratitude and thanksgiving-I put most of the ” Boo’s” and Halloween on the other side for the grandchildren to play with…

Maybe it was because I had just come from a family gathering … but being around family makes me happy-lifts my spirits-the best medicine in the world. But if we stop making the effort to gather with family-this time-honored ritual could fall prey to technology-zooming instead of actually being there.

I think the coronavirus definitely contributed to the slow-down of all kinds of gatherings-certainly understandable but when we don’t physically gather-we miss those so important tactile hugs, the art of reading physical expressions, interpreting verbal conversations, compassion and encouragement through another art-listening! All vital skills needed in human communication.

The definition of gathering is simplistic on the surface but with a deeper meaning underneath. It means “To come together.”

Don’t we hear more and more people respond to questions on the closeness of their family …say something along the lines of ” Oh yes… my family is close… I text home once a week.” It used to be ” call home once a week” … but more people now prefer texting because it is faster and they can control the conversation and not have to interpret voice tones and inflections.

And we wonder why communication is so confusing these days… when we take the ” human” factor out… it just leaves alphabet letters in its place…. suddenly all open to interpretation or misinterpretation. Laughter, giggles, sighs, exhilaration, even stress, crying, sadness or prolonged quietness can’t be replaced by written words –voice tones are such an important part of human communication.

So until tomorrow… Each Autumn, now, when I get ready to start my trip around the sun… it becomes more and more important to arrange additional ” spacecraft ” family gathering landings to renew and uplift my spirits …surrounded by loved ones. Building and maintaining close relationships with family and friends is the secret of gravity’s hold on us… pulling us home.

Today is my favorite day-Winnie the Pooh

About Becky Dingle

I was born a Tarheel but ended up a Sandlapper. My grandparents were cotton farmers in Laurens, South Carolina and it was in my grandmother’s house that my love of storytelling began beside an old Franklin stove. When I graduated from Laurens High School, I attended Erskine College (Due West of what?) and would later get my Masters Degree in Education/Social Studies from Charleston Southern. I am presently an adjunct professor/clinical supervisor at CSU and have also taught at the College of Charleston. For 28 years I taught Social Studies through storytelling. My philosophy matched Rudyard Kipling’s quote: “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” Today I still spread this message through workshops and presentations throughout the state. The secret of success in teaching social studies is always in the story. I want to keep learning and being surprised by life…it is the greatest teacher. Like Kermit said, “When you’re green you grow, when you’re ripe you rot.”
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3 Responses to Why Gathering is so Important…

  1. Rachel Edwards says:

    How about that…I did the exact same thing…put out my “Gather” sign with all my pumpkins…usually wait until November but as you say the best if times is when we come together.. ❤


  2. Lynn Gamache says:

    Love this theme of “gather”! Today in Canada we gather to mourn the loss of our beloved monarch and queen who passed away in peace just yesterday. Soon we shall gather to celebrate her life. We also gather to sing. To pray. To rejoice. To worship! Less than a month and here we as Canadians will gather with our families to give thanks for the many blessings of this past year. Meanwhile we continue to gather in the harvest from our garden….corn, beans, cucumbers, squash, beets, carrots, potatoes, tomatoes, kale plus apples, plums and blackberries too. We are blessed with an abundance of so many very good things. And of course best of all we are grateful for our freedoms, friends and families too. “I’m so glad I’m a part of the family of God!”


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