I remember clearly the dawning of reflexive consciousness that inaugurated my entrance into the human estate. I was a toddler, it was summer at the lake, there was a picnic in a park. A bunch of my extended family, grandparents, cousins, a few others, were there. It suddenly came home to me, in a vivid and sun-dappled moment, that I was one of these... and I was immediately and irrevocably in love. More, my consciousness suddenly expanded in all directions to something like infinity, and doubled back infinitely on itself. For the first time, I was a discrete and self-contained being, who knew himself, in an apparently infinite space that I shared with others. This moment, although preliterate, was completely mature and nothing could have, or has, been added to improve it. There was nothing shattering about it. It felt as natural as stepping into a place that had been waiting for me all along. I like to think that the angels chose this moment to awaken me.
Over time that love would be challenged. Would be distorted, deferred, and betrayed. But nothing, nothing, has dislodged or corrupted its essence. You're one of mine.