We are only hours into the Kamikaze Family Reunion 2012 when our project begins to take shape. It is the shape of a hole.
It isn't clear exactly what is driving this compulsion but we begin digging in almost immediately. We carve lagoons just yards from the Gulf of Mexico, which we transfer bucket by bucket into the depression we have made. We work with the unshakeable faith of our fourth-grade contractor who believes we are building a swimming pool. We work with plastic shovels.
Even the teenagers, who would not be caught dead with a shovel in their hands if there were any useful purpose in it, find themselves drawn into the excavation. They bark orders at the little ones like they are running a crew of day laborers. The walls cave in repeatedly and the engineering is unsound, but we keep digging.
The babies are unrelenting in their efforts to cover everyone else with a layer of sand. Each generation tries to bury the one that came before. Or after. It is the circle of life as imagined by someone whose concept of a circle is more of an oblong or maybe an egg, connected by a series of tributaries to something like a kidney.
The more I think about it, it is not really the circle of life at all.
Except that tomorrow we will have to start all over again.